ISLAMABAD - The government has directed the sugar mills to make necessary arrangements for payments to sugarcane growers as soon as possible.

An official in the Agriculture Policy Institute (API) said that directives in this regard were issued by the government after receiving several complaints from the growers for non-payments of their produces.

To overcome the liquidity issues, government has decided to provide around Rs 1.65 per kg subsidy to the local sugar mills through Trading Corporation of Pakistan, he added.

He further informed that Trading Corporation of Pakistan would purchase about 300,000 tons of sugar from 69 sugar mills across the country to resolve thee liquidity issues of the millers.

He said that according to the rules, sugar mills are bound to pay the farmers within 15 days, adding that the received complaints were duly forwarded to provincial sugarcane commissioners for immediate action.

This year the sugarcane crop output remain encouraging as about 55 million tons of production was estimated this year as compared to the last years’ output of 65.5 million tons, he remarked.

The official said that surplus sugar production of about 4.5 million tons is expected this year as against the last year’s 4.7 million tons.

Annual domestic consumption is estimated at about 4.2 million tons, he said, adding that about 0.2 million tons of surplus sugar production is expected this year with abundant carry forward stocks existing with the sugar mills.

He informed that policy was on card to regularize the domestic exports to fetch foreign exchange as well as to capture the international market by exporting the surplus commodity.

The official further said that July-August is the prime time for exporting the sugar from the country, adding that prices of local sugar was higher than the prices of the commodity in the international markets at present which was a major hurdle for export. The government was suggested to resume exports of the sugar after the holy month of Ramazan this year aiming to promote local sugar industry and to provide better returns to farmers, he added.