Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) has urged the Commerce Ministry to exclude sugar from positive list while granting Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India.

On Tuesday Federal Cabinet quashed negative list prepared by the Commerce Ministry, as Ministry of Textile Industry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Establishment and some industry stakeholders opposed Commerce Ministry in taking such a decision in haste.

"This is the ultimate result of solo flight of Commerce Secretary," commented one of the officials of Commerce Ministry on condition of anonymity.

PSMA Chairman, in a letter to Secretary Commerce, on Tuesday expressed serious concern that the sugar industry and cane growers of the country would be annihilated with the influx of Indian sugar to Pakistan.

PSMA maintained that it appreciated efforts to promote direct trade with India rather than through a third country, but that sugarcane crop was sown on over 2.7 million acres throughout Pakistan, which supported the rural economy.

During the current crushing season an estimated 56 million tons of sugarcane worth 250 billion rupees is likely to be purchased by sugar mills to produce about 4.7 million tons of sugar.

The sugar industry has sufficient installed capacity to produce in excess of seven million tons of sugar provided the sugarcane remains available.

It is therefore imperative to encourage the domestic agriculture sector so that surplus sugar after meeting the domestic requirements can be exported.

"We have suggested that given the potential of our sugar industry and the quantum of cultivation of sugarcane in future, to exclude sugar from the positive list as India can dump its surplus sugar in Pakistan to the detriment of grower and sugar industry which would affect millions associated with farming and sugar business," Kayani concluded.

source: brecorder


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