LAHORE - Due to severe shortage and uncertainty in prices, nobody is ready to supply sugar to the prison department across Punjab, said sources in prison department on Thursday. A senior official of the Prison Department said that the prison management was forced to ensure availability of sugar in various prisons of Punjab through local purchase system. We have called tenders three times in national press for the supply of sugar to prisons but no supplier of sugar contacted us so far. Now the prison department has requested the Food Department through Punjab government to ensure supply of sugar to prison. It is worth mentioning here that in prisons 0.6 million kg sugar is required in the total prisons of Punjab annually. Prisoners are being served with sweet dish twice a week, tea is being served twice a day and soft drink in summer season and Ramadan is also served. Sources said that all the contractors who have signed contracts with the prison department for the supply of various items were facing losses due to overall price hike in the country. An officer said that suppliers who had signed contract for the supply of chicken meat were making hue and cry because of price hike in chicken meat. It is pertinent to mention here that in last June only sugar contract was signed for the supply of prisons situated in Lahore Division and at that time sugar price was Rs 67 per kg but now it has jumped to about Rs 100 to 120. Interestingly, government was claiming the availability of sugar at the price of Rs 72 but it was very hard to get quality sugar at that rate. Prison department has also requested the government to provide the sugar at the rates of Trading Corporation Pakistan (TCP) since the TCP was supplying sugar to provinces on subsidised rates. So far, superintendents of all the jails were purchasing sugar through local purchase system to fulfill the requirement of their respective jails. Prison Headquarter received the reports from the certain jails of the province regarding availability of sugar.