LAHORE - The consumers of white sweetener have become rolling stone in the City and a great number of roadside tea-stalls have been closed down, as the Punjab government has badly failed to overcome worst scarcity of the white refined sugar despite announcing crackdowns and warnings to the hoarders. According to a survey conducted by The Nation, sugar was not available at any retail shop in the City including special makeshift markets and utility stores as people were witnessed running from pillar to post to get sugar packets. The consumers have been left with no other option but to stop the use of sugar due to non-availability of the commodity in the open market. The shopkeepers and retailers have displayed banners outside shops 'Sugar is not available. Sorry for inconvenience. Thousands of roadside tea-stalls, small restaurants and bakery shops have also suspended their operations due to the worst scarcity of the commodity. We dont have sugar to sell. Our customers are leaving back with empty-hands. We have been facing worst shortage of the commodity for the last two weeks, Rana Riaz, a shopkeeper in Johar Town area commented, when contacted. He said the City District Government had failed to improve the sugar supply situation. No shopkeeper has sugar stock for sale. Everybody has stopped its sale, he added. The provincial metropolis is facing worst scarcity of white refined sugar in the aftermath of the government crackdown against the hoarders, as majority of the shopkeepers are reluctant to sell the commodity. Shortage of sugar was also visible at the utility stores where long queues and a rush of people, who were in search of the commodity, was seen on Monday. However, most of the utility stores were short of the sugar stocks, where customers of sugar were witnessed leaving back empty-handed. During the survey it was observed that sugar was not available at any retail shop all over the City particularly in Iqbal Town, Wahdat Colony, Township, Faisal Town, Baghbanpura, Harbanspura, Ichra, Johar Town, Gujjarpura, Samanabad, Gulshan-e-Ravi, Walled City, Garden Town, Muslim Town, Shadman and Mozang areas. According to market sources, in the posh localities of the City sugar was available at some leading stores but at a very high price of up to Rs 60 per-kg against the official price of Rs 40 per-kg fixed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The shopkeepers said the government could not restore sugar supply despite launching crackdowns against the hoarders. Where is the government and what about the tall claims of the provincial machinery regarding the confiscated sugar stocks recovered during the crackdown? The people are unable to get even a single packet of sugar? Muhammad Aslam from Samanabad area said. Muhammad Akram Rao, President Lahore Kiryana Merchants Association said the shopkeepers had no sugar to sell and the sugar business had come to a halt due to the worst scarcity of the commodity. He said there was no supply of the commodity in the wholesale market, which is further aggravating the situation. He urged the government to immediately bridge the supply and demand gap by ensuing adequate supply to overcome the shortage in the open market. A sugar dealer Bashir Ahmed said sugar was not available at most of the general stores and department stores of the City. The salesmen at some big wholesale outlets were witnessed selling the commodity at high prices Rs 60 per-kg but only to their familiar customers to avoid government action. He further said immediate steps should be taken for resumption of supplies, otherwise, the sweetener would totally vanish from the market.