KARACHI (APP) - Federal Industries and Production Minister Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo said Monday that the government had developed a long term policy to deal with sugar crisis and one million metric tons sugar would be imported next year. One million metric tons of sugar will be imported next year to meet shortage of this essential commodity, he said while responding to a question at 5th consumers choice award ceremony organised by Consumers Association of Pakistan (CAP) at a local hotel. He said that the decision has been taken to ensure the sufficient availability of sugar in the country next year and its rates remain well balanced. Wattoo pointed out that the PM had directed the Ministry of Industries and Production to provide sugar to people through Utility Stores Corporation at Rs. 38 per kg. He said that Trading Corporation of Pakistan would supply 100,000 metric tons of sugar to USC for this purpose. TCP has procured this sugar at Rs 65/kg, but it is being sold to consumers at Rs 38/kg, he added. The minister said that the govt was providing a subsidy of Rs. 27/kg to make sure that common man should get the sugar at affordable rates. However, he made it clear that sugar rates were very high in neighbouring India and Afghanistan and therefore this situation will certainly impact sugar prices in Pakistan. The minister also maintained that since the start of new crushing season, the situation regarding the availability of sugar at Rs. 40 per kg has also been changed. The sugar price will be decided on the basis of its supply and demand in the open market and the government cannot fix sugar prices anymore. Earlier, speaking at the award distribution ceremony, Wattoo said that despite shortcomings, the politically elected government is the best system to serve the people. The worst democracy is better than the ideal dictators, he noted. He invited consumer association to lodge complaints if any against 20 industrial and commercial entities including Pakistan Steel Mills working under his ministry. We will take you on board in this regard, he added. Referring to political situation, the minister said that some elements were trying to create misunderstandings, but the govt will take all the criticism from media in a positive spirit and make corrections on the basis of suggestions. He said the pm was trying to convince foreign investors in his foreign visits and international conferences to attract investment especially in the energy sector. Earlier, chairman CAP Kaukab Iqbal in his welcome address highlighted the importance of consumer awards and said that they serve as check on the manufacturers and suppliers of consumer items. Later, the minister gave awards among the winners.