Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Sugar prices likely to go up as 26 mills closed across Punjab

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LAHORE: At least 26 mills have halted operations for sugar production across Punjab which is likely to hike prices of sugar owing to ‘non-provision of sugarcane by farmers,” ARY News reported on Tuesday.

The prices of sugar are likely to jack up following a halt in crushing of sugarcane by 26 mills, whereas, the owners have also hinted to shut operations at 14 others mills across Punjab.

Owners complained about shortage of supplies from the farmers as they wanted to sell sugarcane with increase prices up to Rs250 per ton instead of Rs190 per ton. The owners hinted closure of remaining 14 sugar mills if the situation remains unchanged.

On the other hand, the representatives of Pakistan Kissan Ittehad (PKI) blamed sugar mills’ owners for using a tactic to collect more sugarcane by increasing its prices. The alliance added sugarcane prices were increased in some areas as per rate list announced by the government.

Read: Crackdown to be launched against sugar mills involved in hoarding: Azhar

The alliance demanded to the government for taking immediate notice as a delay will create a sugar crisis across the province.

Earlier on December 4, it emerged that Punjab’s sugar mills had halted crushing and decided to close the mills due to non-availability of sugarcane.

Around 30 sugar mills in the province had decided to halt crushing due to non-availability of sugarcane, sources said. Only eight mills were running in Punjab so far, sources told ARY News.

The crisis that have caused shutdown of the Punjab sugar mills will result in hike in sugar price, according to sources.

The mill owners while inviting attention of the government have warned that the sugarcane crisis will further aggravate in days to come.

The issue of sugarcane price always remains a bone of contention between various stakeholders in sugar industry in Punjab as well as in Sindh, two major sugarcane producing provinces of the country.

Read: Customs seize huge quantity of Indian-origin ‘expired sugar’

The mill owners resorted to delay in beginning of the crushing season of sugar mills to get advantage of the weak bargaining position of the farmers.

The farmers complain that the Punjab sugar mills owners and other quarters having vested interest in the industry use tactics to delay crushing season and not increasing procurement rate, which results in economic problems for farmers and crisis for the workers of sugar industry.

The growers and sugar mills owners remain in a constant dispute for last several years over the issue of fixation of sugarcane price, long delays in release of payments to growers and clearance of liabilities by factory owners.

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