LAHORE: The administration assures normalisation of the sugar market at least in the provincial metropolis within two days as sugar millers have started releasing the whitener to the registered dealers as per the court orders.

Total 1,400 tonnes of sugar will land in the provincial metropolis by Monday and it will be available to the consumers at the official rate of Rs85 per kg, says Shahid Abbas Kathia, the focal person for the additional deputy commissioner (general), Lahore.

According to him, a consignment of 600 tonnes of sugar from the Channar Sugar Mills will be offloaded at the storage facilities of various dealers in Lahore between the night of Friday and Saturday.

Another consignment of 200 tonnes from Tandlianwala and 600 tonnes from Rahim Yar Khan mills will reach the city by Monday, he adds.

Mr Kathia says the millers are allowing lifting their stocks of the sweetener only after cash payment and the administration is taking steps to ensure the cash despite Saturday and Sunday being bank holidays to avert a shortage of the commodity whose consumption will pick up with the setting in of Ramazan from April 14.

The Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA), in a letter to Punjab Cane Commissioner Muhammad Zaman Wattoo, has requested that only registered dealers should be asked to lift the sugar from them as per the quota allocated to each mills according to their production during the current season as per the court orders.

10kg flour bag to be available at Rs375 in Ramazan Bazaars

Mr Kathia says that so far 53 dealers from Lahore have registered themselves with the deputy commissioner (DC) as per the Punjab Sugar Chain Management Order 2021 and that only these traders will be supplied sugar at the official rates.

Lahore Sugar Dealers Association President Asghar Butt confirms that around 600 tonnes of the sweetener is on way to the provincial metropolis and will be sold to the retailers at Rs83 per kg from Saturday.

Ramazan Bazaars: Punjab Senior and Food Minister Abdul Aleem Khan says the Punjab government will ensure availability of a 10kg flour bag at Rs375, sugar at Rs65 per kg and all other items, including edible oil, fruit, vegetables, chicken and eggs, at the price 25pc less than the market in all 364 Ramazan Bazaars.

The government has approved a Rs5.5bn package to subsidise items of daily use at the Ramazan Bazaars.

Flanked by SACM Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, the minister told a presser that Prime Minister Imran Khan had instructed the Punjab government to lock prices at the rates of 2018.

Until the availability of a targeted subsidy mechanism, Aleem Khan said the Punjab government would continue Ramazan Bazaars. He said Punjab was now procuring wheat at Rs1,800 per 40kg, while the Sindh procured it at Rs2,000. He urged the Sindh government to procure wheat and give subsidy to mills to provide flour to the masses at reasonable rates.

Dr Awan said the Lahore High Court had also instructed the mills to supply sugar at Rs80 ex-mill per kg price to the tune of 155 metric tonnes, to meet demand during Ramazan.

Answering a question regarding Jahangir Tareen, Aleem said no one should complain about the scanner of scrutiny or accountability. “No one is above the law in Naya Pakistan,” he said.

Published in Dawn, April 10th, 2021

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