Sugar industry’s pressure tactics

91

DIFFERENT tactics are being employed by the sugar mill owners to get permission from the government to export their commodity in order to accrue maximum profit.

As a pressure tactic, they are warning if the government delays the decision any further, it will face a number of serious consequences including increase in sugar price and delay in payment to the sugarcane growers.

Under no circumstances, the government should succumb to the pressure rather take the decision keeping in view the interests of the country.

There is no denying that the country, at present, is faced with a dire economic situation and is looking at different options to enhance its foreign exchange reserves.

Allowing the export of sugar will also help it fetch the valuable foreign exchange but the government should not forget that a couple of years back when PTI was in power, export of the commodity was allowed which then led to shortage and substantial increase in sugar’s price in the local market.

The then government then had to import the sugar to meet the domestic requirements. Hence, any decision regarding the export of the commodity should be taken after carefully reviewing the stock position in the country ensuring that sufficient stocks of the commodity remain available to meet the domestic demand for the next at least one year.

It has been observed that the sugar mill owners do not make timely payment to the growers of sugarcane under different pretexts – something which should not be acceptable.

Both the federal and provincial governments must join hands and come up with mechanisms that ensure protection of the rights of these farmers.

It is really unfortunate that the farmers work day in and day out to grow their crops including sugarcane but at the end of the day it is these mafias, especially in the sugar industry, that fill their pockets.

This practice must end now and it must be ensured that the farmers get the due price of their commodity if we really want to take the agriculture sector in the right direction.

Given the effects of climate change on the agriculture sector, the government should also launch an effective crop insurance scheme for the farmers.