KARACHI: The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has announced that its sugar stocks are enough for six months including Ramazan, a month when demand for the sweetener rises sharply for a variety of uses.
Speaking to the media at the TCP office here on Wednesday, Chairman Tahir Raza Naqvi said TCP has sugar stocks of 358,000 tons while 200,000 tons more will reach the country’s ports in a few weeks. This quantity would be enough to meet the demand of federal and provincial governments, he said.
The Utility Stores Corporation (USC) buys 50,000 tons of sugar from the TCP every month, but its demand doubles in Ramazan. Naqvi stressed that the TCP will meet the demand of USC in coming months.
Replying to a question, he said the government has allocated Rs115 billion for TCP for financial year 2012-13, but it reviews the figure every quarter. “TCP is financially sound and I don’t see any financial threat in the near future.”
However, he pointed out that some government institutions owe a large amount of money to TCP. For instance, USC owes around Rs12 billion, some institutions have to pay in millions and others owe in billions.
When asked how this debt affects operations of TCP, he said TCP has to make up for the shortfall by borrowing money at a high interest rate of 14.50% from commercial banks. “Such liabilities may annually cause a loss of Rs3-4 billion to TCP,” he roughly estimated.
He also pointed out that TCP is working on a plan to revamp its stores in Pipri, Sindh and has allocated Rs280 million for the project. The programme includes construction of roads, boundary walls and roofs of stores.
TCP imports different commodities on the instructions of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet and mainly aims to achieve three objectives – stabilising commodity prices, keeping strategic reserves of commodities and ensuring payment of support price to farmers.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2012.
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