KARACHI: Profiteers have made an estimated one billion rupees from the sale of sugar recently released by the Trading Corporation of Pakistan at Rs60 per kilogramme (kg). That sugar is now being sold in the open market at Rs90 per kg. The government had inadvertently created this opportunity for hoarders and profiteers by selling 50, 000 tons of sugar at Rs60 per kg. With an after-tax cost of Rs65 per kg, that sugar is now being sold at around Rs90 per kg, at a profit of Rs25 per kg.
According to Farooq Memon, the adviser to the Retail Grocers Alliance Karachi, the imported sugar bought from the TCP was taken to warehouses and mixed with locally produced sugar and sold in the open market for around Rs90 per kg. According to an estimate, hoarders have made abnormal profits of around a billion rupees on the sale of this sugar.
Memon also mentioned that the government has no monitoring system in place to check the sale of this sugar at exorbitant prices.
Moreover, the government intends to sell a further 250, 000 tons of sugar in the open market this month.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2010.