LAHORE- The consumers of white refined sugar have become a rolling stone here in the City as the sweetener has virtually disappeared from the open market across the provincial metropolis. The shopkeepers have stopped selling the commodity in the retail market owing to its worst scarcity in the wholesale bazaar. Market sources said that the millers are unwilling to restore the sugar supply at the price fixed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The consumers complained that sugar was being sold at high price of Rs 50 per-kg in some parts of the City against its officially fixed price of Rs 40 per-kg. Hundreds of local shopkeepers thronged to the wholesale market, Akbari Mandi, on Monday, where about one dozen sales points have been established to ensure sugar sale at Rs 38 per-kg for the retailers. Most of them (shopkeepers) were witnessed leaving back empty-handed due to the non-availability of sugar in the wholesale market. Reportedly, scuffles and minor clashes were took place between the sellers and buyers at few sales points at the Akbari Mandi, Citys leading wholesale market, as the supply was not sufficient to meet the huge demand. 'The wholesale market was open but there was a little sugar business today. The shopkeepers and retailers were witnessed leaving back with empty-hands due to worst shortage of the commodity, Asghar Butt President Lahore Sugar Dealers Association said, when contacted. He said that there was mismanagement in the supply chain and most of the dealers refused to sell sugar in protest. He said that the government should take solid steps to convince the millers for the start of crushing season as early as possible to overcome the shortage, as any further delay would further aggravate the situation. He also pointed out that sugar was being smuggled to Peshawar from Lahore due to considerable price difference. However, sugar was being sold in some parts of the City at Rs 50 to Rs 55 per-kg while most of the retailers stopped sugar selling owing to low profit margin. Interestingly, some storeowners were witnessed selling sugar to only their regular customers, fearing government crackdown. Dealers also revealed that the available stocks in the market had almost exhausted while cut in supply-line is aggravating the situation. Therefore, they said, the government should take this issue seriously and improve the supply situation in order to ensure its sale at Rs 40 per-kg to implement the orders of the Supreme Courts of Pakistan. I have visited five shops and stores situated in the area but could not get a single packet of one-kg sugar. There was no sugar at any shop, Munir Khan, a resident of Johar Town said. He further said that the Punjab government should intervene into the situation to overcome the shortage and to provide relief to the public.