500,000 metric tons sugar to be exported till March next

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 14 (APP): An estimated 500,000 metric tons of sugar to be exported in a phased manner till March 31, 2016.

In the first phase, 200,000 MT will be allowed to be exported upto December 31, 2015.

By the end of January, an accumulative 350,000 will be allowed, while the cut of date for the total accumulative volume of 500,000 MT will be 31 March 2016.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet, in its recently held meeting chaired by Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq has already accorded the approval for export of this commodity.

The unutilized quotas for sugar export allowed previously will stand cancelled.

The ECC has also decided that Rs.13 per kg will be allowed as partial support for incidentals and freight for the export of this quantity and only those mills will be allowed to export which have cleared the outstanding dues of the farmers upto last season and have started crushing on full scale.

The cash support and the inland transportation support will be shared equally by the Federal Government and the respective provincial Governments.

National Sugarcane Coordinator in Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Sohail Muhammad Khan told APP that the Ministry as a recommendatory body had suggested the government to lift ban from the export of surplus sugar and let the industry to create place in international market.

He said, the exportable surplus would enable the local millers to ensure the timely payments of growers besides discharging the cartels developed by the exporters of other countries in international market.

It may be mentioned here that domestic production of sugar during the current season has been estimated at 4.7 million tons besides carrycforward stock of about one million tons from the last year’s production.

Total domestic requirements of the sugar was estimated at 4.2 to 4.3 million tons per annum whereas it is expected that domestic stocks would further boost up during the current year.

Meanwhile, sugarcane crushing has been started in Punjab province as the provincial government had fixed the commodity support price at Rs. 180 per 40 kg to ensure proper rate of return to farmers for their produces.

According to an official in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, surplus sugar production was expected this year too despite sugarcane cultivation was decreased in lower Sindh areas.

The main reason behind declining crop in Sindh province was failure of the provincial government in implementation of official fixed price of Rs.172 per 40 kg of sugarcane during last year’s crop season.

The exploitation of farmers by the millers had discouraged  the farmers to cultivate the sugarcane crop in the Sindh and growers of nearby areas of Punjab had forced the farmers to sell their crop to sugar mills in Punjab as it was offering good price for their produces, he added.

He said, sugarcane production was estimated at 62.5 million tons as compared to set targets of 63 million tons for the current crop sowing season to fulfill the domestic requirements as well as for the export.

He said, crushing has been started in Punjab as about 46 sugar mills were operating in the province adding, the Chief Minister of Punjab has also directed the provincial food department to ensure the implementation of official fixed rates of the crop.