LAHORE : The federal government has failed to maintain strategic reserves of 0.5 million tons of sugar in line with the directives of Economic Coordination Committee.

According to this decision, the federal government was asked to maintain a strategic reserve of 500,000 tons of sugar to keep sugar prices at a reasonable level through open market intervention and to provide subsidized sugar to poor strata of society at Utility Stores and for the holy month of Ramazan.

According the PSMA Punjab, the federal government has not implemented the decision of Economic Coordination Committee in letter and spirit and as a result there is no stock for strategic reserves to meet the requirements. A spokesman of the PSMA said that in the last crushing season government fixed minimum support price of sugarcane at Rs 180 per 40 kg based on which corresponding cost of production of sugar comes to Rs 60 therefore it is impossible for the mills to sell below their cost.

He said that the govt should have replenished stocks when price of sugar was Rs50 and below so that it could be utilized at the time of need. Now maligning the industry is uncalled for as it is the job of the govt to secure and maintain strategic reserves at all times.