The Government has purchased sugar for Utility stores at the ‘most expensive’ rate Pakistan has ever imported sugar at. The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) paid Rs109.90 per kg for a consignment of 28,760 metric tons of sugar as compared to the cost of Rs89.26 per kg for 100,000 tons of sugar purchased last year.
After the additional expenses, the total cost the Utility Stores would incur comes to about Rs123 per kg of sugar. The ex-mill rate for locally produced sugar, fixed by the government is Rs84.75 per kg. This would lead to imported sugar becoming Rs25.15/kg more costly than the official ex-mill rate.
Sugar will be Rs33.25 per kg more expensive than the official rate for Utility stores. However, the government has said that Utility stores would be provided imported sugar at Rs85 per kg and the government will subsidize the remaining difference between the purchase price and selling price.
The TCP has also issued an international tender on Monday, for the purchase and import of 640,000 tons of wheat. The price offers for the tender can be submitted by September 29.
Recently, the import of 50,000 metric tons of sugar has been approved by The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in order to keep sufficient stock of the crop in the country.
According to a press release issued by the ministry of finance, ECC has green signaled the import of 50,000 metric tons of sugar in three separate tenders each in an effort to increase participation and promote competition once the international prices fall.
Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, while answering questions at a news conference said that wheat would be available at the rate of Rs1950 per 40kg while sugar will be available at a price of Rs89.75 per kg.
He further added that measures were being taken to curtail the profit margins of the middlemen.
“We are trying to revive price control committees which will benefit the common man. Strategic reserves of essential commodities are also being built to ensure price stability and prevent profiteering and hoarding.”
The minister emphasized that food inflation has been lowered in the last few months bringing the urban and rural food inflation from 15% and 17% in July down to 9.1% and 10% respectively.
“Prices of consumer goods have risen all over the world. Pakistan is not a unique country. Food and beverage prices have increased less in Pakistan as compared to the rest of the world,” he added.
The ECC carried out discussions regarding the import of sugar earlier last month as it was communicated that the current sugar reserves of 1.18 million metric tons will be exhausted near the end of October this year.