LAHORE: The government of Punjab on Friday set the maximum retail price of sugar at Rs85 per kilogram after the federal government calculated the ex-factory price of sugar at Rs80 per kilogram.
kilogram and asked the government of Punjab to set the retail price accordingly.
According to an order, issued by the General Directorate of Industries, Prices, Weights and Measures of Punjab to all commissioners and deputy commissioners, the retail price of sugar should in no case be set at more than Rs 85 per kilogram.
The order indicated that the ex-mill sugar level hovered around 92 to 94 rupees per kilogram.
The government of Punjab has raised the issue with the federal government for the pricing of sugar and requested the provision of the sugar cost calculation for the current season.
the government provided 80 rupees per kilogram at the ex-mill rate and the provincial government notified the sugar retail rate after adding incidentals, transportation and profit margins including all taxes.
However, contrary to government calculations and the ordinance, the wholesale price of sugar in Akbari Mandi of Lahore remained at Rs 97.60 per kilogram on Friday while the commodity was retailed for between Rs 100 and 110 per kilogram.
Interestingly, the government has given supermarkets and department stores carte blanche to charge any price for sugar. In various local and international chains of superstores, sugar was sold for up to Rs 115 per kilogram.
Meanwhile, the Punjab zone of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) has rejected the rates calculated and set by the federal and provincial governments. An Association official said they would challenge the order in court.
The official said the PSMA had previously asked the government of Punjab to develop a sugar cane
supply policy similar to wheat supply policy in order to be able to manage and set the retail price of sugar.
On the other hand, the retail price for Sheikhupura has been set at Rs85 per kilogram. According to a notification issued by Sheikhupura Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Asghar Joiya, the retail price of sugar has been set at Rs 85 per kilogram until further notice.
No Punjabi government official was available for comment.
Text messages were sent and phone calls were made to Minister of Industry and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal, Secretary of Industries Wasif Khurshid, General Manager of Industries Rana Abdul Shakoor, Secretary of Information Raja Jahangir and to DGPR Saman Rai, but none of them responded.