In a decisive move against skyrocketing sugar prices, Rangers orchestrated a large-scale operation to apprehend sugar hoarders in Karachi. Raids were carried out at two distinct warehouses situated on Hub River Road in Baldia Town, resulting in the recovery of approximately 140,000 bags of sugar, confirmed the spokesperson for the paramilitary forces. The total worth of the confiscated sugar is pegged at over Rs1 billion.
This notable crackdown comes as a response to the alarming rise in sugar prices, which had surpassed Rs200. The operation not only yielded thousands of bags of hoarded sugar but also led to several arrests of individuals involved in the sugar mafia, who were responsible for the artificial hike in prices by hoarding and selling sugar at exorbitant rates. This sugar, as stated by the spokesperson, was allegedly destined to be smuggled to Afghanistan via Balochistan. The confiscated sugar has been transferred to the appropriate civil administration to undergo further legal procedures.
Sugar Price Fluctuations Across the Country
Recently, the country has witnessed a severe fluctuation in sugar prices. Areas near the Afghanistan border, like the Balochistan border belt, saw prices soaring above Rs200 per kilogram. Various other regions, including Peshawar, Charsadda, and Gilgit, experienced a significant surge in sugar prices, causing a distressing spike in retail prices nationwide. Despite governmental efforts to stabilize the commodity’s price at Rs98/kg earlier this year, insiders anticipated the prices might escalate over Rs200/kg across the country.
This fluctuation in sugar prices is significant, especially when compared to the relatively stable prices of other commodities such as flour and fresh milk over the past couple of years, as documented by the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA). Interestingly, this surge in prices comes after a brief period in 2021 when sugar prices had briefly crossed the Rs100/kg mark before settling around Rs125/kg later that year. Amidst this turmoil, the Lahore High Court issued a stay order against the official notification dictating controlled sugar prices, as reported by an official from the provincial Food Department.