Govt to buy sugar for market

Move aimed at addressing artificial shortage, middlemen’s role


Afzal Talib April 22, 2021
Citizens line up to get sugar bags at subsidised rates. PHOTO: ALTAF VIRK/EXPRESS

LAHORE:

The district administration has decided to introduce a new system of buying sugar directly from the mills on a commercial basis and selling it to vendors.

The decision was taken to end the sugar crisis in the city.

Lahore Commissioner Captain (retd) Muhammad Usman has issued orders to all deputy commissioners to register dealers for the purpose.

The commissioner ordered the launching of the new system of buying sugar directly from the mills instead of the wholesale market to end the artificial shortage of the commodity and the role of middlemen.

He directed the deputy commissioners of all districts of the division to register dealers and supply them sugar directly from the mills.

Under the plan, the sugar be available from the mills for Rs80 per kilogramme, while the dealers will give at Rs83 per kg to vendors.

The shopkeepers will be able to sell the sugar at Rs85 per kg with a profit of Rs2.

Through the new plan, sugar will be available at lower prices in all neighbourhoods along with the Ramazan Bazaars and utility stores. The move is aimed at addressing the issue of artificial shortage of commodities on a permanent basis. The special bazaars have been set up to provide relief to the consumers during Ramazan.

On the orders of the commissioner, Lahore Deputy Commissioner Mudassar Riaz has directed the officers concerned to register the dealers and establish coordination with the sugar mills.

The federal and provincial governments have failed to prepare an effective strategy for the supply of sugar during Ramazan. This has led to a severe sugar shortage in the province, specially Lahore.

Three times more sugar is consumed in the country during Ramazan than in normal days. The provincial government needed to prepare a strategy based on the requirement.

Sugar is being sold at Rs62 per kg by the federal government at the utility store. It is also available at subsidised rates in the Ramazan Bazaars set up by Punjab government. However, shopkeepers in the markets across the city are selling it for Rs110 per kg.

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But despite all the measures taken so far, the availability of sugar in the city’s various areas has not been ensured.

That is why there are long queues of men and women to buy sugar in Ramazan Bazaars, on which the courts have also expressed anger.

The chief minister of Punjab has also issued instructions for a better mechanism for the supply of sugar in Ramazan Bazaars so that the people may get sugar in a better way instead of queuing up.

In view of the instructions, the divisional commissioner has directed the district administration to immediately increase the manpower and make better arrangements for the supply of flour and sugar in the Ramadan Bazaars so that the citizens can easily buy goods in a dignified manner.

He said the performance of the officers appointed for the management and monitoring of the bazaars should be checked.

The commissioner said the problems in supply of sugar in the streets could be solved by selling sugar acquired from the mills to the vendors and instructions had been issued to the officials concerned in this regard.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2021.

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