ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Thursday directed Ministry of Commerce to work with the Sugar Advisory Board to come up with short and long term proposals for resolving the issues and problems faced by the sugar industry.

The PM chaired a meeting wherein he was briefed on the matters pertaining to sugar industry of the country, said an official statement. The meeting was briefed on the growth of sugar industry in Pakistan, government’s role in the development of this industry, issues concerning the sugar industry and support of the industry from the government.

Office bearers of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association apprised the Prime Minister that total sugar production has witnessed 125% increase in 2016-17 as compared to 2009-10 while the increase in sugarcane area per hectares over the same period was 29%.

According to Pakistan Sugar Mills Association, the economic impact of this growth was an increase in farmers’ revenues from roughly Rs95 billion to roughly Rs 325 billion annually.

The Prime Minister was apprised that sugarcane has consistently been a viable crop for farmers. The provincial governments have made tireless efforts in this regard by providing the minimum support price of sugarcane and making payments to growers in a timely manner.

Subsidies to growers in the form of fertilizers and other inputs under “Prime Minister’s Kissan (farmers) Package” have increased per acre yield tremendously. In addition, the hard work by the sugar industry, farmers and government research institutes have led to propagation of superior varieties and better farm practices.

The challenges faced by the sugar industry relating to permissions for export were also discussed during the meeting, the statement said.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Commerce Muhammad Pervez Malik, Minister for National Food Security Sikandar Hayat Bosan and office bearers of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association. Senior government officials were also present in the meeting.

Meanwhile, Chairman Federal Public Service Commission Naveed Akram Cheema also called on PM Abbasi here.

The chairman FPSC briefed the Prime Minister about the working of the organization. PM appreciated the very important role of FPSC in selecting competent and qualified persons for the public service.

Prime Minister emphasized on transparent and merit-based recruitment process and added that the FPSC has a vital role in this regard.