Cabinet fails to resolve sugar crisis
10 September, 2009
ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Wednesday formed a subcommittee to formulate recommendations to avoid any sugar-like crisis in the future. The committee has been asked to submit its report to the cabinet in ten days.
Chief ministers of all the four provinces and federal ministers attended the cabinet meeting, which was presided over by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. The prime minister directed the provincial governments to ensure the availability of sugar at the fixed rate of Rs45 per kg.
The cabinet committee will be headed by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin and will comprise Minister for Food and Agriculture Nazar Muhammad Gondal, Minister for Industries Manzoor Wattoo and agriculture ministers from all the four provinces.
The cabinet held detailed discussion on the prevailing sugar crisis but could not come up with any initiative to pull the country out of it. The cabinet committee has been tasked to shape the future strategy with particular reference to giving incentives to the sugarcane growers and whether to increase the sugarcane support price. The cabinet was informed that the Trading Corporation of Pakistan has 300,000 tons of sugar in stock.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif informed the cabinet that due to the efforts of the provincial government sugar mills have paid Rs. 4.5 billion to sugarcane growers and only Rs. 500 million remain unpaid.
Earlier, three provincial chief ministers, Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Amir Haider Khan Hoti and Governor Balochistan Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi called on the prime minister at the PM House.
They briefed the prime minister on measures taken by the provincial governments to provide relief to the people regarding availability of essential items during Ramazan. The meeting also reviewed the law and order situation in the country. PML-N Senator Ishaq Dar also attended the meeting.
Governor Balochistan Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi had a separate meeting with the prime minister. During the meeting the prime minister said the committee on Balochistan has completed its work and the government will soon announce a reform package for the province.