There are over 80 sugar mills in Pakistan with capacity of crushing sugar ranging from 4000 to 20,000 Tonnes per day. These mills operate around 4 months per year depending on the amount of output from sugar cane crops. The largest number of sugar Mills are in Punjab owned by PM and CM Punjab, and their first cousins. While in Sindh they are owned by Asif Zardari, former President and chairman of PPP, and his friends. The other sugar mills are owned by MNA’s or those having close ties with politicians. The Sugar Industry in Pakistan is highly protected by the State Bank and the Civilian government. From Sugar Canes to processed Sugar, its prices are managed by the Government. It is a typical case of the conflict of interest and deep state involvement in business in free market. Whenever international prices are high, the sugar mill owners will find reasons to have export permission and will allow the prices to increase in the domestic market. Every Sugar mill will make money from Rs 50 to 10 million (black money). There are hardly any sugar mills owners who do not have properties in foreign countries. The owner of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association should set up a Sugar Research Centre or do something for improving the quality and production of sugar. It has almost become lobby to protect and increase the wealth of the owners at the cost of consumers’ benefit. State and government have never discouraged the people from using white sugar which researchers have shown is a poison for health if consumed in large amounts. It has been proved by international health research organisations.

ENGR.S.T. HUSSAIN,

Lahore, April 11.