LAHORE - Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) has urged the federal government to consider its proposal of barter trade with Iran by exporting the white sweetener to its neighbour and importing urea against that.

At present the international price of sugar is high so Pakistan can take advantage of this situation. “The country can benefit a lot by importing 700,000 to 800,000 tons of urea from Iran and in return, Pakistan will need to export only 400,000 tons of sugar.

Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) Chairman Javed Kayani renewed its demand that the government should immediately purchase 400,000 tons of sugar from the mills and barter it for urea from Iran.

“This policy will help the government fill the urea supply gap and save it substantial foreign exchange as well as spare gas for the industry.”

In a letter written to Federal Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Kayani said that govt has approved import of 300,000 tons urea in ECC to meet with requirements of the country for the Kharif season, which can actually be procured from Iran against barter of sugar.

PSMA in a recently held Sugar Advisory Board meeting on 12th March made a very strong recommendation to buy a further quantity of 400,000 tons in view of the current inventory of sugar. Unfortunately the process of purchase through Trading Corporation of Pakistan has not been initiated as yet, which is grossly impacting payments of sugarcane growers as well. We are facing tremendous pressure of the growers and the respective Provincial Governments to clear payments of sugarcane growers for the current season, which are likely to be delayed for want of disposal of surplus stocks.

We suggest that Government should adopt a pragmatic approach in view of the submissions made not only to procure urea against barter trade of sugar but also to facilitate payments to sugarcane growers and avert bank defaults on principal and mark up.

Javed Kayani said without the provision of drawing 90 percent credit instead of existing rate of 70 percent against pledge of sugar stocks discharging entire liabilities of growers is not possible. He said we are not demanding any extra facility instead we want 30% margin be reduced. It will facilitate both growers and the industry and pressure on Government will also be reduced.

Therefore, Government should direct banks to reduce margin requirement, he added.

source: nation

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