ERUM ZAIDI and RAMZAN CHANDIO KARACHI - Giving the concession to sugar millers, the State Bank of Pakistan has set the new deadline of repayment of Rs 30b worth loans obtained by the sugar mills from the domestic banks. Earlier, the SBP has directed the banks and DFIs that all existing loans or advances against the security of sugar stock disbursed before the crushing period of 2008 should be fully adjusted till March 31, 2009, while loans or advances against the fresh sugar stocks disbursed for the crushing period of 2009 would fully be adjusted latest by July 31 with the aim to curb sugar hoarding. However, on the request of the mill owners, the SBP has reviewed its earlier decision and extended deadline regarding final adjustment of loans / advances against pledged sugar stock, both raw and refined sugar. The central bank has directed the banks/DFIs to ensure adjustment of entire loans/advances against pledge of sugar stock (both raw and refined) by 31st October, 2009 positively, starting with 25pc reduction at end of July 2009, while further reduction with a formula of 25-25pc by end August, Sept and Oct, 2009. Former President of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association of Sindh zone and member of central body of sugar millers Aslam Farooqui while talking to The Nation termed the circular of SBP as normal business of central bank, while at the same time he also said that SBP had earlier issued a circular to retire loan/advances of sugar stocks outstanding against sugar millers. However, he said the sugar mills body PSMA has shown reservation over earlier circular in which SBP fixed July '09 as final dateline regarding retirement of outstanding loans and advances against sugar stocks. Farooqui, whose family owns various industries in the country, said that PSMA met with the high officials of the SBP and Finance Ministry and raised the issue to get extension on account to retire the loans against the sugar mills. Consequently, the SBP extended the deadline to retire loan released against sugar stocks for this season 2009 and said that issue of final adjustment of loans/advances against pledge of sugar stock (both raw and refined) has been reviewed on the representation made by different stakeholders under which the loans of sugar mills will be retired in phases. Meanwhile, according to sugar millers, a huge amount of about Rs30b loans are outstanding against sugar mills in the country on account of sugar stocks while mills in Sindh owe Rs4-5b to banks for '09 season. Former MNA and President Sindh Sugarcane Growers Association Syed Qurban Ali Shah regretted the extension given to sugar mills in loan repayment and said all the mills have gotb of rupees profit during this sugarcane crushing season in the country. Shah said that instead of giving concession to industrialists, the loans of real farmers must be waived off. He further said thatb of rupees arrears of farmers are outstanding towards sugar millers which are yet to be paid by mighty millers. The industrialists of the country manage to waive off theirb of rupees loans in governments; he claimed and reminded that a huge amount of Rs21b was waived off during 1990 to 2005, out of which, the farmers agriculture loan amount to only Rs400m, while remaining over Rs20b belonged to industrialists.