Islamabad: Mr. Aziz Ahmad Bilour, Federal Secretary Ministry of Industries has said that after reviewing province-wise stocks of sugar available in the country it can be safely said that there is sufficient stock of sugar available in the country to cater to the demand till the next crushing season starts and there is no urgency to import sugar right now.
He said this while chairing a meeting of the Sugar Advisory Board, held in the Ministry of Industries. Representatives of Ministry of Finance, Planning and Development Division, Trading Corporation of Pakistan, Punjab Industries Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Agriculture Department, Kissan Advisory Board and Pakistan Society of Sugar Technologists attended the meeting.
The meeting was convened to ascertain the sugar stocks position and in particular to assess the sugar estimates for 2011-12 and forecast gaps so that timely measures may be taken to cater for any deficiency.
Punjab and KP informed the meeting that they will meet the sugar production estimates for the year 2011-12. Sindh, which is severely affected by floods this year, apprehended that the production of sugar may fall below the pre-floods estimates as 30 percent of the cane cultivated area came under heavy rains and floods. However, two reasons were put forward to support the fact that there will not be any major loss to the cane crop.
Firstly, the meeting was informed that this year sugarcane was cultivated on 20% more area than it was in the previous year in Sindh. Secondly, Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) has estimated that, although a large area of land bearing sugarcane crop has come under floods, yet there is sufficient scientific evidence to believe that there will not be any major decrease in the production of sugarcane as this is a water-loving crop.
By consensus, the consumption of sugar was estimated at 25kg per person per year and it was decided that the next year consumption estimate of sugar will be made keeping in view this figure. The representative of the Finance Ministry informed the meeting that if need arises the Ministry has allocated sufficient funds for TCP for the import of sugar.
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