BAHAWALPUR

The figures of its total production have not been issued by the mills as total production has been reduced to 4.7 million metric tonne this year as compared to 5.5 million mt of fiscal year 2013-14, farmers’ leaders said.

Thus, they added, the price of sugar started rising after the sugarcane crushing season came to an end. The total monthly consumption of sugar is 390,000 metric tonne in the country. Significant rise in the prices of sugar is expected in the month of Ramazan, they said. Due to wrong agricultural policies of the current government, the farmers had protested against the fixation of low prices of cotton, rice, sugarcane and wheat crops amidst looting of the middle men and sugar mills, they added.

The Economic Coordination Committee showed the additional 1 million metric tonne sugar production before the conclusion of crushing season and gave the approval for exporting sugar and announced subsidy of Rs8 per kg for sugar mills.

Sugar is being sold at the price of Rs57 per kg in markets because the mills increased the price of sugar from Rs4,800 per 100kg (at the time of starting of crushing season) to Rs5,400.

Agri Forum Pakistan Punjab President Chaudhry Ahmad Ali Akhtar and Kissan Welfare Association Chairman Syed Mazharul Haq Bukhari said that sugar prices had been increased due to 800,000 metric tonne less production as compared to the last year’s to benefit the sugar mafia. They said the farmers held various protests against the illegal weight deduction in the sugarcane at the time of purchasing, increase in expenses on production and lesser rate as compared to the expenses incurred on production of crop. However, they added, the federal and provincial governments and the Cane Commission Punjab did not take even single step to protect their rights.

“Sugar mills remained no-go areas during the crushing seasons for the tax authorities. They changed the serial numbers of sugar bags to evade taxes and also did not declare the final production figures. No one can take any action against the mafia because sugar mills are owned by the politicians of the country,” they said.