Shortage forces Pak to allow sugar import

Islamabad, February 7:

Pakistan has allowed the import of sugar from India after low production and a subsequent strike by mill owners created a shortage and resulted in an unusual price hike.

“The government has decided to allow sugar import from India through the land route,” a senior commerce ministry official said. The official said a formal announcement in this regard would be made ‘either today or tomorrow’.

Sugar, which was earlier being sold for Rs 18 Pakistani Currency (PC) per kg in the wholesale market, is now reportedly selling for Rs 41 PC per kg in the wholesale market and about Rs 42-44 PC per kg in the retail market. Long queues ca-n be seen in front of the limited number of government-run utility sto-res where sugar is being sold at Rs 28 PC per kg.

“Because of this situation, the government will open up the Wagah border for sugar trade,” said the official adding that the plan is in an advanced stage of implementation. The 64 sugar mills were on strike till Sunday and resumed pr-oduction yesterday. “The mills will take time to se-nd their product to the market, even now only 28 of the mills have started production,” said the official. The only option available was to immediately import sugar from the international market, including India.