ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) on Thursday called for revamping the whole system of sugarcane sector to protect the interests of all stakeholders.
Representatives of the PSMA said that existing system of sugarcane has many flaws, which should be plugged up. They highlighted the problems faced by the millers and the problems resulting from the differences in supply and demand of the commodity.
The PSMA representatives gave their viewpoint in an open hearing conducted by the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP).
The hearing was held to discuss the competition concerns in the sugar sectorand to get the viewpoint of all stakeholders on relevant issues.
The CCP’s bench, comprising the Chairperson Vadiyya Khalil, and Members Dr Shehzad Ansar and Dr Muhammad Saleem, conducted the open hearing that was attended by the representatives of sugar cane growers, sugar mills, federal ministries, provincial departments, and public and private sectortrading and retail organizations.
Chairperson Vadiyya, in her opening remarks, said that CCP was not just a market enforcer but also a market developer and that the open hearing had been convened to discuss and address competition issues in the sugar sector.
The participants from the farmers’ community highlighted the payment issues and other difficulties faced by the sugarcane farmers.
They called for urgent intervention at the necessary levels of government to resolve their problems.
The representatives of the government including Umar Saleem Bhatti from the Federal Ministry of Commerce, Shafiq Ahmed Shahzad from the Trading Corporation of Pakistan, Imtiaz Ali Gopal from the Federal Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Sibte Hassan Sherazi from the Food Department Punjab, Javed Maqbool, Director Marketing, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives, KPK, Muhammad Shakeel, Deputy Director, Food Department KPK, and Nihalulddin Marri from the Agriculture Research Institute Sindh, explained their respective positions on the matter.
Chairperson Vadiyya Khalil thanked all the participants and said that after analysing the deliberations of the open hearing and other pertinent facts, the CCP would issue its opinion into the matter. The opening hearing is being held under the CCP’s advocacy mandate under Section 29 of the Competition Act, 2010. The CCP is mandated to ensure a healthy competition in all spheres of commercial and economic activity to enhance economic efficiency and to protect consumers from anti-competitive practices.