The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) Thursday approved a summary presented by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research regarding the export of sugar fulfilling the demand of sugar mill owners, however, the decision can hike the price of the essential commodity for local consumers.
The Ministry of National Food Security and Research moved a summary in this regard during the ECC meeting which was presided over by Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Ishaq Dar.
The committee directed the Pakistan Sugar Mill Association (PSMA), and they also committed, to ensure that the existing price of sugar will not increase in the domestic market for at least till January 31, 2023.
It was also decided that the situation will be reviewed on fortnightly basis.
Last month, the association warned the government that the sugarcane crushing season will not start until the export of one million tonnes of sugar is allowed.
The officials had highlighted that it was necessary to start the crushing season by November 30, but sugar mills already had surplus stocks from the last season, amounting to more than one million tonnes, which was enough to meet the national sugar requirements till January 15.
Sources told The News that in the previous crushing season, the country produced nearly 7.9 million metric tonnes of sugar, which was a historic high and far more than local demands.
It should be noted that the average sugar consumption in Pakistan is estimated at 596,000 tonnes per month.
The government’s assessment of flood devastations suggested that due to the widespread damage to the sugarcane crop, sugar production would be 260,000 tonnes less than the annual consumption requirement next year.
Owing to the delay in starting the crushing season, farmers have not been able to plant wheat which may pose food security challenges next year.
During the meeting today, the ECC also approved technical supplementary grants for the following:
- Rs7 million in favour of the Ministry of Climate Change
- Rs743.57 million in favour of the Ministry of Housing and Works for execution of its development schemes