Parliamentary panel asks government’s hands on sugar price

A sub-committee of Public Accounts Committee of the Federal Parliament has submitted a report to the chair of the parliamentary panel Bharat Kumar Shah recommending removal of quantitative restriction on import of sugar to keep rising prices in check. The sub-committee that was formed to conduct a study on ‘controlling rampant price hike in the festive season’ submitted its report to the PAC today so that the House panel could instruct the government on the basis of the report’s recommendations to keep the market in order during the festive season. The sub-committee has concluded that there were anomalies while fixing the price of sugar following the quantitative restriction on import and asked the panel to write to the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority regarding import restriction, pricing and the government’s incompetence in controlling the price. The government’s decision to slap quantitative restriction on import of sugar just before the festive season, when consumption of the commodity peaks, ran into controversy after the government was seen to be incompetent in controlling the market price of sugar. The sub-committee’s report has identified flaws in the government’s decision, as the restriction on import was made without seeking commitment from sugar mills on price, quality and smooth supply.

“The Cabinet meeting decided to impose quantitative restriction on sugar import to protect domestic sugar manufacturers without taking measures to safeguard consumers.” The report mentions collusion between sugar mills and their sister concerns that were importing sugar earlier. It states that due to this complicity, sugar mills and importers have started creating artificial shortage of sugar and are frequently hiking its retail price, today’s THT reports.

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