ISLAMABAD - President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday said the government was committed to taking the industry onboard in finding solution to their issues.

Talking to a delegation of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association, led by its chairman Javed A. Kayani at Aiwan-e-Sadr, he said only through pro-active involvement of the business community and the industrialists, the continuity of the policies could be ensured.

The President, while advising the government to hold a meeting with PSMA, said the proposal to export 400,000 tons of sugar be sent to Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet for consideration.

He said it was a matter of great satisfaction that despite unprecedented natural calamities, the country was in position to not only meet its requirements in sugar commodities but was also poised to export sugar.

The President advised Ch Pervaiz Elahi, Senior Minister for Defence Production and Industry, to hold meeting with the PSMA to further deliberate on the proposal and issues, being faced by the industry.

The delegation included Iskander M Khan, Riaz Qadeer Butt and Deoomal A. Essarani. Ch Pervaiz Elahi, Senior Minister for Defence Production and Industry, Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Secretary Finance Wajid Rana, Secretary Industries M. Aziz Bilour and Chairman TCP Tahir Raza Naqvi were also present besides other senior officials.

The issues related to sugar industry were discussed in the meeting.

Javed A. Kayani, chairman PSMA, while briefing the President said at present the sugar production in the country was around 4.7 million tons.

He said after meeting domestic consumption of 4.2 million tons, around 400,000 tons of sugar was available for export. He said that export of sugar would enable them to make payments to the growers in the regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh. He also raised the issue of the sales tax on the sugar commodity.