The federal government on Monday remained cautious of approving a request from sugar millers to allow the export of sugar, noting that it was imperative to maintain the prices of the commodity.
This was discussed on Monday during a meeting between Federal Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar with a delegation of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) at the Finance Division today. The PSMA delegation was headed by its Chairman Asim Ghani Usman.
During the meeting, Federal Industries and Production Minister Syed Murtaza Mahmud, Federal Food Security and Research Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema, SAPM on Finance Tariq Bajwa, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman were present from the government’s side, and senior officers from Finance Division attended. The PSMA delegation included PSMA vice chairmen Iskander M. Khan and Ahmed Ebrahim Hasham.
During the meeting, Usman briefed the finance minister about the contribution of the sugar industry to the national economy.
He also raised the issues faced by the sugar industry relating to the general sales tax (GST), availability of sugar stock and sugar export.
Dar, however, emphasized that it was imperative to maintain a strategic reserve of sugar so that the prices of sugar could be kept at a level that provided maximum relief to the public.
While Dar was reluctant to approve the export of the commodity at this stage, he assured the PSMA delegation that the incumbent government was well-aware of the issues being faced by the sugar industry as well as the sugar cane growers in Pakistan.
He added that the government aims to facilitate the business community and improve the ease of doing business to keep the economy of the country on track.
Dar assured the delegation that their issues would be addressed at the earliest and extended full support and cooperation to the delegation.