KARACHI - The Sindh government has set new retail price of sugar at Rs47 per kg for the holy month of Ramazan. The decision was taken at a high level meeting chaired by Sindh Home Secretary on Wednesday, which was also attended by the representatives of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association Sindh zone, wholesalers and retailers. In the aftermath of the record level hike in the prices of the commodity to Rs56 per kg, the Federal government had fixed the price of the sugar at Rs45 per kg ex-mill throughout the country. Official said that Punjab government has already fixed the retail price at Rs47 per kg for Ramazan and Sindh also followed it. According to an official notification issued after the meeting of concerned stakeholders, it was unanimously decided that the ex-mill price of the sugar will be Rs 44.75 per kg, while wholesale price has been fixed at Rs45.50 per kg and Rs47 per kg for the retail market. In pursuance of providing relief to the masses during the holy month of Ramazan, Sindh government has kept Rs1.50 gap between ex-mill and retail prices of sugar. A source who also attended the meeting told The Nation that the representatives of the sugar mills body, PSMA were reluctant to decrease the ex-mill of the commodity and proposed that the prices of the commodity should be free in open market. Furthermore, the Sugar millers initially did not agree to the proposed ex-mill rate of Rs44.75 per kg which was much below than the present ex-mill rate of Rs48 per kg in the province, sources said, adding that Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza who also owns sugar mills, and other provincial authorities contacted the millers and persuaded them on new price of the commodity. However, Chairman Retailers Grocers Association Karachi Fareed Qureshi told The Nation that they suggested that retail price of the white sweetener be fixed at Rs48 per kg as difference between whole sale price of commodity was much thinner against the charges per kilogram. Meanwhile, the new retail price of sugar would only for the Ramazan month. When contacted by The Nation, Muhammad Shakil General Secretary Wholesale Grocery Association Karachi said that sugar mill owners assured the availability of commodity in market at prescribed rates agreed in the meeting. Provincial Chief of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association Abdul Wajid Arain also agreed that the new ex-mill rate of Rs44.50 per kg of white sweetener was much below the existing prices but we have followed the directives of the Prime Minister to reduce prices. He pointed out that at least 110,000 tons stocks of sugar were available with the mills, while another 100,000 tons are with the traders/sugar bookers. Furthermore, TCP is also going to bring 25,000 metric tons stock of the commodity in market, he said, adding that the sugar stocks are sufficient to fulfill the needs till upcoming season. Mr. Arain said that Sindh government has assured them that the white sweetener price will not cross the Rs47 per kg in retail market.