Sugar export of 100,000 tons allowed by Economic Coordination Committee

Islamabad: Economic Coordination Committee ECC of Cabinet in meeting Tuesday chaired by Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh after detailed review of sugar situation in the country allowed its 100,000 tons export.

ECC in its January 20, 2012 meeting constituted sub-committee under chairmanship of Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Textiles Minister to examine sugar export holistically and submit its recommendations. In its recommendations it suggested 0.2 million tons may be exported on first come first basis purely through private sector.

Detailed resume of sugar situation from line ministries said left over stocks from 2010 to 2011 were 0.9 million tons and current crop expected to yield record production of around 4.5 million tons to 5.0 million tons. Taking annual consumption of 4.2 million tons, expected surplus would be around 1.5 million tons. Sugar export is banned since 2009.

ECC allowing its export, asked concerned ministries to ensure that no single party alone be benefited and modalities be finalized in coordination with State Bank of Pakistan.

Taking cognizance of sugar miller payments by Trading Corporation TCP, ECC directed TCP Chairman to apprise Cabinet & Finance Division on daily basis of payments made.

ECC discussed representation of Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association to Prime Minister requesting to procure one million bales of cotton lint at Rs.6,500/bale. It was felt only a small stock of cotton that is less than 10 percent is lying with growers and any intervention in such situation shall not be prudent for cotton market, spirit of government and farmers. ECC decided that free market policy should continue and let market forces define its price in the country.

Karachi Cotton Association KCA & All Pakistan Textile Mills Association APTMA also opposed government intervention in cotton price mechanism. ECC deferred a summary of Water & Power Ministry for levy of GST on hydro electric power sector and asked line ministry to revisit ECC along with WAPDA Chairman.

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