Keep a check on sugar smuggling, and hoarding: ECC to Pakistan’s Food Ministry

Islamabad: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Caretaker Cabinet in its first-ever meeting has asked the Pakistan’s Ministry of National Food Security to take the help of other government agencies to keep a check on the smuggling and hoarding of sugar, reported Dawn.

The step has been taken as the sugar prices have increased by 77% in the last four months in the country.

Finance Minister Dr. Shamshad Akthar presided over the meeting called with the agenda “Cancellation of Export Quota of Sugar with Ban on Export of Sugar”. The ban on sugar export is already in effect from August 10 as per the decision taken by the earlier ECC in June.

In a recent meeting, it was revealed that the national sugar stock had reached a mere 2.27 million tonnes. Despite this information, the Sindh government had already increased the price of sugarcane by 41% compared to the previous year. Moreover, the Lahore High Court suspended an order on May 4 that had fixed the sugar price at Rs 99 per kg, opting to maintain the status quo. This decision remained unchanged even as market prices surged past Rs175 per kg.

The Ministry of National Food Security & Research (MNFSR) delivered a comprehensive overview of sugar production, stock levels, consumption trends, and the consequential rise in market prices. The meeting centered around the impact of these developments on the broader food inflation scenario.

During the meeting, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) revisited its prior resolution concerning the export quota of sugar. Following a thorough discourse, the ECC upheld the existing ban on sugar exports after August 10, 2023. An official statement elaborated that the MNFSR received a directive to compile and present routine reports detailing the availability of sugar stocks, consumption patterns, and pricing. These reports are set to aid the ECC in closely monitoring the availability and cost dynamics of this essential commodity.


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