ISLAMABAD - Erstwhile allies, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), yesterday traded allegations putting the blame on each other for the hike in sugar price in the country.
PML-N Ahsan Iqbal, the former Planning Minister, blamed PPP’s Naveed Qamar for the recent hike in sugar price in Pakistan. Qamar was the Commerce Minister in the recent coalition government led by the PML-N.
Iqbal lashed out at Naveed Qamar for exporting sugar. He claimed that Naveed Qamar had permitted the export of sugar and PML-N could not be blamed for the hike in sugar price as the decisions were taken by the coalition government. Later, Naveed Qamar defended his decision of exporting sugar saying that Pakistan had additional sugar “that’s why sugar export was allowed. The sugar crisis will not end until the smuggling and hoarding is stopped.” PPP leader Senator Taj Haider also supported Naveed Qamar saying he allowed official export of 250,000 tons sugar to help then Finance Minister Ishaq Dar with some foreign exchange.
“Rana Sanaullah (former Interior Minister) had allowed 1.4 million tons sugar to be smuggled. Dollars were earned by smugglers. But Ahsan Iqbal holds Naveed Qamar were responsible,” he said on X platform.
Earlier, sugar prices hiked up to an all-time high in Karachi to Rs 195 per kilogram as weekly inflation continues to accelerate. Sugar is being sold between Rs 185 to Rs 195 per kilogram in Karachi’s retail market, while the rate in the wholesale market decreased to Rs 178 per kg from Rs 180.
Despite the decrease in the wholesale market price of sugar, the retailers are selling the same at their desired rate. In a statement, Rauf Ibrahim, Chairman Wholesale Grocers Association, said that the sugar mafia and hoarders created an ‘artificial shortage’ of sweetener and reduced its supply into the market.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industries has ruled out the shortage of sugar in Pakistan. The clarification came after claims that Pakistan is seeking to import sugar from Brazil.