Due to rising prices, the government has decided to allow tax and duty-free import and stock of 800,000 tonnes of sugar and 300,000 tonnes of wheat.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) chaired by Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Dawn reported. The ECC has allowed tax and duty-free import of 500,000 tonnes of refined sugar from the public sector and 300,000 tonnes of raw sugar from sugar mills. Prime Minister Imran Khan had publicly congratulated government agencies on December 12 for their concerted efforts to increase sugar prices to Rs 100 per kg.
It had come down from Rs 100 per kg to Rs 80 per kg, but in the next few weeks, the prices crossed Rs 90, while in Lahore and Karachi it had gone up to Rs 100 per kg. It was allegedly based on speculation that sugar shortages could recur. The decision to import sugar was taken at the suggestion of the Ministry of Industry to ease the additional pressure on sugar prices and increase carryover stock before the arrival of fresh crop, the Finance Ministry said. He said that ‘ECC has reduced holding income tax on commercial import of white sugar and raw sugar from 5.5% to 0.25% and white.
The government has approved the abolition of value-added sales tax on sugar imports. The reduction in taxes will encourage sugar mills to import 300,000 tonnes of raw sugar by June 30. The ECC has asked the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to increase up to 500,000 tonnes if required this season Instructed to import white sugar. The Ministry of National Food Security and Research submitted a summary to the TCP through tender for immediate arrangements for the import of 300,000 metric tonnes of wheat, which was approved by the ECC.
The ECC also approved the allocation of 60,000 metric tonnes of wheat at a discounted rate to the Food Department of Balochistan by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research.
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