KARACHI: Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo, President, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCC), has recommended trade and transportation of sugar and sugarcane at interprovincial level.
In a statement on Wednesday, Maggo observed that market forces allowed under fair and transparent conditions do have the potential to stabilize the sugar market and ensure availability across Pakistan on competitive prices.
FPCCI Chief has maintained that no government can continue to regulate and subsidize any major commodity for an indefinite time period and for an indefinite expenditure cap. He added that around 60 per cent of sugar is consumed in the country by commercial consumers; and, these consumers can create a healthy competitive environment.
Healthy competition and free market access is the only real-world, efficient, consumer-friendly and sustainable solution to Pakistan’s chronic food inflation; which has doubled the food prices in the past few years alone, he added.
Adeel Siddqui, VP FPCCI, said that the price of sugar will continue to be unstable and will continue to add inflationary pressures if the sugar cane crops of different provinces remain confined to their provincial boundaries. Free market is the answer to price instability in the wheat flour as well, he added.
He stated that the currently ongoing crushing season will see a bumper sugar crop and, in any case, opening up of provincial borders for sugar cane transportation will help bring the sugar prices down substantially and relieve the masses at large.
Maggo added that Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) and the government are face-to-face on the issue of restricted movement of sugar within provinces; and, as President FPCCI, he is ready to mediate between the government and PSMA to reach a win-win resolution.
He emphasized that the Ministry of Finance & Revenue and Food Security & Research should establish a better and functional liaison with the stakeholders of sugar industry at every stage to avert any future sugar crises in the country; and, also, save precious foreign exchange reserves through creating an enabling environment for the domestic sugar industry.