Top official says smuggling causing sugar price hike in Pakistan

Sugar export

LAHORE: Punjab Food Secretary Zaman Watoo has said that rampant smuggling into Afghanistan is the main cause of rising sugar price in markets across Pakistan.

He said that mill owners, despite high price of sugar, are resorting to tax evasion worth billions of rupees.

The food secretary said that over seven million tons of sugar had illegally been smuggled into Afghanistan from Pakistan.

Watoo accused sugar mill owners and cartels of siphoning off billions from the pockets of the public. He said the production cost for sugar including profits should be pegged at Rs95 per kilogram.

The official said that the Punjab government finds itself in a helpless position against the sugar mafia due to stay orders from courts.

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He said that a comprehensive monitoring of sugar mills has been initiated in Punjab and Sindh following the unprecedented hike in the price of the commodity.

Watoo said that inspectors from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) have been appointed in sugar mills in Punjab and Sindh.

He said that it would not be exaggeration if the so-called ‘extraordinary profit’ is called plunder.

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