Punjab govt raids sugar mills after manufacturers refuse to take down price


Lahore – Staff Reporter:

The Punjab government has started seizing stock from sugar mills to sell it in the market at notified rates after manufacturers refused to reduce the price of sugar, official sources on Tuesday.

“We confiscated 500 tons from Macca Sugar Mills in the first ever raid on the premises of manufacturers,” said a senior official in the Punjab food department.

The official said that despite clear instructions by the government, no stock of sugar was supplied by mills in the market. “Therefore, we are left with no option but to take action as per law.”

The Punjab government is acting based on the Punjab Sugar (Supply-chain) Management Order, 2021, the official explained.

He said the masses cannot be left at the mercy of sugar mill owners.

The seized stock will be sold through dealers at a maximum of Rs85 per kg as opposed to the previous high rate of Rs115 per kg.

Following administrative actions taken by the provincial government, a downward trend has kick-started in the price of sugar.

On March 25, 2021, the government introduced Punjab Sugar Supply Chain Management Order 2021 and the Prevention of Speculation in Essential Commodities Ordinance 2021.

As per provisions of the order, sale and purchase of sugar is regulated by registering warehouses of sugar mills and dealers and only registered dealers are allowed to sell or purchase sugar.

The Punjab Sugar Supply Chain Management Order 2021 is expected to help cope with the sugar mafia and ensure the supply of sugar at affordable rates.

No factory, dealers, wholesale dealer can store more than 2.5 tons sugar, and a no-objection certificate from the concerned deputy commissioner is required if more than the fixed volume is stored.

Unregistered dealers and wholesale dealers cannot sell or purchase sugar. No sugar mill can sell its sugar to an unregistered dealer. The cane and deputy commissioners have been empowered under this order and they can take legal action in case of any irregularity. Under this order, sugar mills and wholesale dealers are bound to show their record to the cane commissioner.