The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has urged the government to wake up and take the issues of commodities like rice, wheat, sugar, cotton and maize seriously ahead of the budget and the trade policy to meet the targets of exports and revenue collection before it is too late.

UNISAME President Zulfikar Thaver invited the immediate attention of the government to the decline in exports and the losses suffered by the SME units of processing industries of rice, wheat, sugar, cotton and maize. The country has been blessed with handsome crops but unfortunately the exports have declined due to international fall in the prices of commodities. Due to uncertain conditions the buyers are not purchasing the commodities apprehending further fall in prices. Thaver said it is therefore expected from the government to take immediate decisions and revive exports of rice, wheat, sugar by examining the need for subsidies on priority basis to continue exports. He pointed out that the government must swallow the bitter pill of subsidies to regain the lost markets. Timely decisions are required otherwise the competing countries are expected to enter the global markets in March next month and leave us regretting for not having exported our commodities. It is an acknowledged fact that some of our varieties of rice, wheat, maize, sugar, cotton are superior to other countries and can fetch marginally better price. It would be wise to export the goods in time and prepare for the next season to build the confidence of the growers, millers, ginning units and the crushers rather than ignore their bonafide demands for subsidies to overcome the crisis of lack of demand due to the price factor and competitiveness, he added.

Thaver also emphasized the need for environment and law and order for peace of mind for the sector and appreciated the steps taken by the government and the army and the law enforcing agencies and expected good results.