ISLAMABAD - The government has increased the sugar prices by Rs 6 per kg at Utility Stores Corporation (USC) outlets to cause unprecedented suffering to the common man.

The government on Saturday directed increasing the sugar price by Rs 6 per kg at state-run corporation (USC) following the unprecedented surge in commodity price in open market that has already enhanced by Rs 10 per kg in last few days. According to the official, new sugar price would be Rs 48 per kg with the recent increase against the earlier price of Rs 42 per kg. Sources told The Nation that government keeps USC’s sugar price Rs 10 per kg less than the open market price, therefore, he said, owing to the surge in open market price, the government has increased the commodity price at state-run stores by Rs 6 per kg.

It might be mentioned here that sugar price had started increasing from last few weeks despite the fact that country has sufficient commodity stocks that allowed the government to export the commodity. However, sugar mafia is once again active to exploit the consumers by fixing commodity price at its own will. Market sources informed that commodity price has started escalating in the county as it reached Rs 60 per kg after declining to Rs 50 per kg.

According to the latest figures of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA), the country would have 5.2 million tons of sugar after the crushing season 2011-2012, as it has carry over stock of 0.5 million tons of previous year along with estimated production of 4.735 million tons of the current season. On the other hand, the average annual consumption of the sugar during the last three years is 3.8 million tons indicating that country has a surplus of the commodity. 

According to the PSMA figures, Punjab has crushed 2.7 million tons of sugar, Sindh 1.027 million tons and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa 0.275 million tons so far while the crushing season would end by around 20th March in northern Punjab and KP and by 25th March in Southern Punjab and Sindh.