Sugar shortage hits Chitral

Published August 5, 2021
Traders said the district administration had fixed retail price of sugar at Rs85 per kilogramme, while the whole sellers got it at Rs104 per kg from the open market in Dir and Batkhela. — Reuters/File
Traders said the district administration had fixed retail price of sugar at Rs85 per kilogramme, while the whole sellers got it at Rs104 per kg from the open market in Dir and Batkhela. — Reuters/File

CHITRAL: Chitral has been facing acute shortage of sugar due to a tussle between the district administration and the dealers over its pricing.

The traders said the district administration had fixed retail price of sugar at Rs85 per kilogramme, while the whole sellers got it at Rs104 per kg from the open market in Dir and Batkhela, and sold it to retailers at Rs106 per kg. They said the district administration’s decision inflicted a loss of Rs19 per kg on them.

A wholesaler requesting anonymity said the rate fixed by the district administration was far below the price on which they purchased the commodity, thus forcing them to stop its supply to retailers.

He said the government should ensure supply of commodity to them at Rs80 per kg so they could sell it to consumers at Rs85 per kg.

Arshad Hussain, district food controller Lower Chitral, said shortage of sugar was worsening as wholesalers had stopped supply to the market. He said retailers could not bear huge loss of Rs25 per kg by selling it at Rs85 as notified by the district administration.

Lower Chitral deputy commissioner Hasan Abid said the government had fixed sugar rates for different districts based on their distance from sugar mills.

He said the price was fixed after taking into consideration profit margin of wholesalers and retailers.

Published in Dawn, August 5th, 2021

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