LAHORE: The Punjab government has warned the sugar dealers if they failed to bring all the sold sugar stocks available in the open market within next 48 hours their stocks will be confiscated and auctioned. This warning was issued by Punjab Minister for Food Malik Nadeem Kamran while presiding over a meeting held to review the continuous rising prices of the sugar in the wholesale and retail markets, sources told Business Recorder on Monday.

He observed that around 200,000 metric tonnes of sold sugar stocks were lying in the godowns of sugar mills, which needed to be handed over to their buyers for bringing the same in the open market for sale. Otherwise, the government would take action under “hoarding act” and put to auction the stocks after confiscation.

The meeting was attended by the Punjab Food Secretary Muhammad Irfan Elahi, Deputy Inspector General (Special Branch) Faisal Shahkar, Punjab Cane Commissioner Shahid Hussain, Additional Secretary of Industries, Chairman of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (Punjab) Javed Kayani, representative of sugar dealers association Sheikh Akmal Saleem and other-officers.

The minister said the government would ensure bringing of available sold stock in market within 48 hours. He said the government would utilise all its resources to provide sugar at cheaper rates to the masses. He said action without any indiscrimination would be taken against those, who had created artificial shortage of sugar in the market.

The minister also directed the Punjab Food Secretary and the Cane Commissioner to check the stocks of all the sugar mills in Punjab and submit a report within 24 hours.

Sources also claimed that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had taken serious notice of recent surge in sugar prices, and asked the authorities concerned to take immediate stringent measures to check rising trend in sugar prices. He also directed the officials to ensure availability of commodity at cheaper rates.

Malik Nadeem Kamran also urged the Punjab PSMA Chairman to ensure implementation of order of delivering sugar to the utility stores and releasing 9,214 metric tonnes of sugar from Kashmir Sugar Mills and 2,600 metric tonnes from Brothers Sugar mills.

He warned that the government would not allow unjustifiable increase in the prices of sugar and take stern action against the hoarders. Meanwhile, the increasing trend of sugar prices continued on Monday and its prices, according to the sugar dealers in Akbari Mandi touched Rs 5,270-5,280 per 100 kilograms, which was around Rs 5,050 per 100 kilograms on Saturday. They said that mills were selling sugar at their gate at Rs 5,250 per 100 kilograms.

Source: Business Recorder