ISLAMABAD - Sugar mafia has once again got active to exploit the helpless masses by fixing commodity price at their own will, as prices have increased by around Rs 10 per kg in the last few weeks despite the fact that country has sufficient commodity stocks, market sources told The Nation on Saturday.

Market sources informed that commodity price has started escalating in the county as it had reached Rs 60 per kg after declining to Rs 50 per kg. According to the market sources, commodity price might further increase in the days to come. However, the official figures of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) present different situation regarding prices, as it revealed that average price of sugar was recorded at Rs 55 per kg during the week ended on Thursday, which was Rs 52 per kg in last week.  It might be mentioned here that the government has allowed the exports of the sugar after getting bumper crop in the country from last two years, which could be one of the reasons of soaring commodity price. On the other hand, sources were of the view that prices are escalating due to the fear of lower production in the country that is speculative.

According to the Ministry of Industries estimates, sugar production would be 4.8 to 5 million tons while average annual consumption during the last three years was 3.8 million tons, leading to surplus that allowed Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet to allowed export of the commodity. The media reports revealed that Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) has asked the ECC to allow sugar exports when final production figures are in hand and the crushing season is over.

Meanwhile, sources in Ministry of Industries were optimistic that there would be no shortage of the commodity.