LAHORE - Around 626,745 kg sugar has been sold so far at subsidized price of Rs52 per kg in 331 Ramazan bazaars of the province. The Pakistan Sugar Mills Association Punjab zone is supplying this stock to Ramazan Bazaars at subsidized rate of Rs50 per kg under an agreement signed with the Punjab government, which is even below their cost of production. The PSMA has announced that it has signed a deal with the government to provide 20,000 tons of sugar at Rs50 per kg throughout Ramazan.

According to report of Punjab DG Industries, around 7285,530 kgs sugar has been sold till 17 Ramazan- at subsidized rate of Rs. 52 per kg in Ramazan bazaars of Punjab. One lakh, 56 thousand and 283 kg chicken was sold at Rs. 225 per kg in Ramazan bazaars. According to report of DG Industries, one lakh, 26 thousand and 931 flour bags of 10 kg each were provided in Ramazan bazaars out of which 87117 bags were sold whereas in open market 1621 flour bags of 10 kg each and 4251 flour bags of 20 kg each were provided.

Meanwhile, the wholesale dealers have asked the government to take immediate steps for controlling the increasing trend of sugar rates in open market, as the government focus is only on Ramazan bazaars.

Sugar Dealers Association President Asghar Butt asked the government to look into the real cause of increase of Rs5-8 per kilogramme in the sugar prices after the advent of the holy month. It is amazing that instead of providing relief to the public in this sacred month of Ramazan, the sugar prices have been increased from Rs 58 per kilogramme to Rs 63 per kilogramme by the millers. Dealers can only have a stock of two to three days and they could not manipulate the prices.

He claimed that during early Ramazan some government officials had visited the Akbari Mandi and forced shopkeepers to sell sugar at Rs60 per kilogramme and then the administration came to know that the ex-mill prices were Rs 61.50 per kilogramme at that time and adding Rs 1 per kilogramme as cost of freight, it was not possible for wholesalers to sell sugar at Rs 60.

He said the district administration had fixed the new retail price at Rs 63 and the retail price at Rs 65 and a notification was issued on June 25. At the ex-mill price of Rs 6400 per 100 kilogrammes, it was impossible for the dealers to sell sugar at the government prescribed rate, he said. “The government should also negotiate with millers in this regard. The government should immediately intervene to solve the issue. If a strict check is not applied it will result in further increase in sugar prices.

Punjab DG industries claimed that govt is trying to implement the official price list even in open market. According to his statement, around 1,525 Price Control Magistrates raided 9,310 places and a fine of 1645,800 rupees was imposed. He said that action was taken against 1411 profiteers, hoarders and other persons violating the law. Cases were registered against 235 traders and shopkeepers and 259 accused involved in hoarding and profiteering were arrested. Maximum fine of two lakh, 46 thousand and 500 rupees was imposed on profiteers and hoarders in district Rahim Yar Khan and a fine of Rs. two thousand only was imposed in district Gujrat. Raids were conducted for checking weight and measures in the province and legal action was taken against 252 persons due to short measuring.