Sugar millers have voiced concerns over the ex-mill price of Rs. 80 per kg set by the Punjab government on Tuesday.
This is in as opposed to Rs. 104 to Rs. 106 per kg of manufacturing cost estimated by them.
Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) Punjab Zone said while referring to this price fixation by the Punjab government, “All the sugar mills of Punjab have gone into an utter financial disadvantage.”
The federal government notified ex-mill sugar price at Rs. 85 per kg. In a letter to the Finance Minister, Hammad Azhar, the association said that cost of production of sugar in Punjab sugar mills has gone to Rs. 105.77 per kg due to very high sugarcane price of up to Rs. 350 per 40 kg.
The provincial government kept the support price of sugarcane at Rs. 200 per 40 kg. Previously, the government expressed an inability to control sugarcane prices moved by market forces.
“Sugar industry is heading towards a crisis-like situation, where most of the mills might end into default in payment of bank loans, payment to growers, sales tax dues, income tax and other government dues of multifarious nature,” the association said.
Manufacturers also criticized the provincial government for inaccurate figures presented in the court about the consumption of sugar in Ramazan.
The association said that while the actual required quantity of sugar for Ramzan bazaars by the province’s determination is 30,000 tons, the provincial government is lifting 155,000 tons.
This gap has opened room for profiteers to get registered for quota allocation and then black-market the subsidized sugar in Punjab and smuggle it to other provinces, PSMA said.