In the backdrop of on going sugar crisis in the country, we have seen retail price of sugar skyrocket from Rs. 45 per kilo to Rs. 85 per kilo in a very short time. That has ripped the kitchen budget of poor households at seams, so to speak. In the midst of this sugar crisis have come the catastrophic floods that are worse than a Tsunami in their impact. The floods have taken thousands of precious lives in hundreds of villages wiped off the land and, more to the point for this letter, also completely destroyed the entire belt that constitutes our sugarcane-producing region. Sugarcane crops on hundreds of thousands of acres have been washed out completely in KP and Sindh. Hence, the shortage of sugarcane is imminent in the coming crushing season (2010-2011) that is due to begin in November. One fears a mammoth sugar crisis, a crisis even greater than the one we are going through, is about to be unleashed on the poor of Pakistan because the sugar prices have only one way to go up In order to stabilize sugar prices in open market, the Sugarcane Growers Association had demanded that federal government should act swiftly in the interest of consumers (common men) and allow tax-free import of raw sugar to substitute the shortage of sugarcane supply to sugar mills by November. Above all, the government should stabilize sugar prices in open market in best interest of our poor country men. Unnecessary delay by the concerned quarters in this vital decision may result in worsening of sugar crisis in the near future. Raw sugar should be made available by November 2010 to millers so that it can be processed along with the ongoing crushing of sugarcane in order to avoid the extra fuel cost. -JAVED MALIK, Lahore, September 25.