Fix responsibility, penalise responsible

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Shahryar Khan Baseer

In the beginning of the year, the ECC (Economic Coordinate Committee) at its meeting (PR No.58), decided to allow export of sugar as there was ample stock of sugar available in Pakistan to ensure stable rates for the commodity throughout the year. To facilitate the sugar mills further, they also allowed 13-rupee per kilogram subsidy, which totals to 650 crore rupees to the sugar mills. However, after a few months, our country faced a sugar shortage and the price of the commodity was increased by sugar dealers by more than 50%. We, the people of Pakistan, had to pay high price for remainder year, while ironically sugar was available at a much cheaper price in international market, but due to high taxes on imports it was not feasible to import sugar.
I would like to request the government of Pakistan to please investigate and find out why the export of sugar was allowed and they should also create a mechanism where firstly such important decisions are not made by Committees without any guarantee from the industry that no shortage will occur in the year in question. Secondly, the government officials that make such ridiculous and callous decisions about our country’s future should be held responsible and penalized, to stop this endless cycle of repeated disastrous business and policy decisions by similar Committees in future as this is not the first time this has happened.
—Peshawar

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