ISLAMABAD - In a major action Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday immediately stopped export of remaining 0.350 million tons of sugar as per the quota and simultaneously allowed import of 300,000 tons sugar to bring down the price by beefing up of the country’s sugar stocks.

Official sources privy to the development said that the prime minister had approved submission of a summary before the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) to immediately stop export of remaining export sugar quota and also allowed import of 300,000 tons sugar through private sector. 

According to the sources, the prime minister was adamant to believe the recent reports about availability of sufficient sugar stocks but remained unsatisfied over not getting a proper answer for a cogent reason about continuously increasing trend in price of the commodity.  To further push to complement administrative efforts in checking the price increase of sugar and in order to provide relief to the masses, the prime minister approved a proposal for ECC to immediately stop the remaining export quota of sugar i.e. 0.350 million tons.

He also advised that the provincial governments should strictly adopt measures for implementation of Price Control and Prevention of Profiteering and Hoarding Act at sub-national level. 

In a simultaneous effort, the prime minister also asked the ECC for allowing 300,000 tons of white sugar import through private sector without taxes and duties. No financial support will be provided to the importers by federal or provincial governments.

The decision will be implemented after its approval from the ECC, being the competent forum. 

The prime minister also moved to take this decision after series of meetings with the concerned divisions and chief secretaries of the provinces as to why the prices continued showing the upward trend thus causing inconvenience for the masses despite administrative actions by the government machinery.  On the instructions of the prime minister, the provincial chief secretaries were directed to take steps for controlling hoarding and profiteering in their respective provinces.

The prime minister during the meetings of Sugar Advisory Board was informed that 1.719 million tons of sugar stock was available in the country.

Traditionally, a strategic reserve of two months is maintained in the country with a monthly requirement of 0.458 million tons. The meeting was also informed that besides availability of three months stock of sugar in the country, crushing was in process and will continue till March 2020 and therefore the stock position will further improve.