Sugar, a highly essential component of our daily diet, has once again disappeared from markets; and not surprisingly, this has happened at the advent of the holy month of Ramzan. At present, the sugar is not available even at the inflated price of Rs52 per kg what to talk of the 'fixed' rate of Rs38 per kg. The administration apparently intends to play the role of a silent spectator in this game leaving the hoarders to amass billions at the cost of the general public. The government was warned much earlier through the Annual Sugar Report 2009-10 that there will be shortage of at least 0.7 million tones, as against the demand of 4.35 the production would be around 3.65 million tones but no planning was made to counter that. Rather, the mill owners, mostly sitting either in the treasury benches of National Assembly or having right connections in the corridor of power, were allowed to hoard as much sugar as they can. The planners failed in their duty to compensate for the shortage through timely import of this essential food item through Trading Corporation of Pakistan. The illegally hoarded sugar stock should be brought in the open market now and offered for sale at the government fixed rates. There is no other solution. -GULZAR SIDIKI, Karachi, via e-mail, August 20.