Strict action demanded against Sugar mafia

By Asad Cheema

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday lauded the decision of the government to ban the export of sugar and import the sweetener which will stabilize its price in the local market.
It demanded a meaningful action against those who plundered masses through flour and sugar crisis amid skyrocketing inflation. Cancellation of licenses of some mills, routine fines and suspension of some officials are not enough the satisfy enraged masses, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that inflation, uncertainty, debt and courage of flour and sugar mafia continue to increase making life very difficult for the masses.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that mafia has earned tens of billions of rupees in illegal profits through crises and now they can establish more mills to exploit growers and masses.
The sugar sector is known as sunset industry throughout the world but here it is being promoted at the cost of masses.
Scarcity of water can be tackled if growing sugarcane is totally banned and sugar is imported for local consumption as the imported sweetener is far more cheaper. This will also help the government to save billions given to sugar millers to export surplus sugar, it will push planters to grow cotton to once again make Pakistan a cotton exporting country.
He demanded action against those who compromised national interests for petty gains by establishing sugar mills on the cotton belt.
This year the textile sector will have to spend over Rs600 billion to import cotton which will increase cost of doing business and make exports difficult.
Increase production of cotton will help the textile industry trigger growth, offer employment to many and boost much-needed exports. Dr. Mughal noted that despite best efforts of the FBR the revenue target for January has been missed by Rs104 billion pushing up seven months shortfall to 387 billion warranting a mini-budget. Borrowing has jumped up by 40 percent during the last fifteen months which is not good for the country, he noted.