ISLAMABAD - In order to discourage hoarding and stabilise the market prices, the Government will import 1.2 million tons of sugar against its shortfall of 1.1 million tons. According to the report issued by the Ministry of Industries and Production on Friday, the sugar production in 2009-10 is expected to around 3.1 million tons while the annual consumption 4.2 million tons. Therefore, the said gap is to be met through previous years stocks if any as well as through imports. Besides importing 1.2 million tons, in addition, the strategic reserves of 0.5 million tons of white sugar is being built, the report said. The short-term implementation of the sugar policy has begun. 0.5 million tons of white sugar is being imported by the public sector while another 0.75 million tons of white sugar is being imported by the private sector (free of sales tax and excise duty etc), it added. According to the report, presently there are 83 functional sugar mills in the country of which 45 are in Punjab, 31 in Sindh, and 07 in NWFP. The total crushing capacity of the mills is about 600,000 tons per day and the capacity utilized by the mills is about 60 to 70pc dependent upon the sugarcane production and sugarcane purchased by the mills. One Pakistani eats more than half a maund of sugar in one year i.e 25 kg. While in India the per capita consumption is 18 Kg annually, the report stated. In the long-term, price of the sugarcane is being linked to sucrose content by introducing a premium price on high sucrose content cane varieties. Sugar beet production is likely to supplement sugarcane to the tune of 1m tons production in 2011-12. Some parties are introducing brown sugar which is not harmful to health like the chemical treated, bleached 'white sugar; coloured cubes made from sugar beet, sugar powder from sugar beet for confectioners, and beverages are also being introduced. Such interventions will add to sugar stocks by supplementing sugar from sugarcane with sugar produced from sugar beet, cheeko and sweet potato, the report stated.