ISLAMABAD - The federal government on Tuesday asked the provincial governments to stop the ongoing crackdown against sugar hoarders, owing to the strong insistence of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) while accepting their demands. Federal Minister for Industries and Production Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo, after chairing four hours long meeting with members of PSMA stated this in a press briefing. He said, The government wants smooth supply of sugar, which was halted due to crackdown and in this regard we are asking the provincial governments to stop the crackdown and release the stock of sugar that might bring down the prices. He further said that the government had fixed different prices in the four provinces as in Sindh and Balochistan per kg ex-mill price of sugar would be Rs 48, while in Punjab and NWFP it would Rs 49.75 per kg. PSMA would offload 0.2 million tons sugar throughout the country in the holy month of Ramazan to provide relief to the people, he added. It is pertinent to mention here that a deadlock took place for around two to three hours in the meeting on the issue of price of the commodity as government was trying to fix the price at Rs 48 per kg while PSMA wanted it to be Rs 50 per kg. The PSMA threatened to stop the supply of sugar if the government did not accept their proposal and on their strong insistence the Ministry made the decision in their favour. Secretary Ministry of Industry and Production, Secretary Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Chairman Trading Corporation of Pakistan, MD Utility Stores Corporation, and members of PSMA attended the meeting. The Minister informed that Trading Corporation of Pakistan, mills associations, and dealers had 1.2 million tons sugar, which was sufficient to meet the demand. Government had increased the supply of sugar to Utility Stores from 70 thousand tons to one million tons and this would be available at Rs 38 per kg in Ramazan. He said that due to high price at international market the price of sugar ballooned in Pakistan. The price of sugar in India, Sri Lanka and other neighbouring countries was around Rs 50 per kg. He further said that imported sugar would cost around Rs 65 per kg but the government would give subsidy to the consumers in order to provide relief to them. The PSMA had agreed to provide 10 thousand tons of sugar to the Government of Punjab, which would be available at Rs 40 per kg in Ramazan Bazaar, he informed. He said that other provinces like Punjab should also make agreements with PSMA to provide relief to the people. He said, The price of sugar was high due to low production as we produced only 3.2 million tons sugar in the current year against 4.2 million tons last year. On a question about sacking Chairman Pakistan Steel Mills, he said the Prime Minister had consultation with him before terminating the services of the Chairman.