Annual Reviews

Annual Review
57th Annual General Meeting October 06, 2022.

Distinguished Members of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association I feel honoured to welcome you on behalf of Executive Committee at 57th Annual General Meeting of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association and to present Annual Review for the year ended September 30, 2022. The Sugar Industry during the year has faced massive problems. Contrary to the year 2020-21, this year we had a bumper crop of sugarcane and the mills kept the crushing on till early April, 2022.

Record crushing was done and as a result we achieved production of 7.9 million tons of sugar in the country. The annual consumption of sugar in the country remained around 6.850 million tons. We started the year with an estimated surplus of 1.9 million tons, which is perhaps the biggest surplus in the history of Pakistan. The biggest surplus of the history obviously became a challenge for the Sugar Industry. PSMA started its struggle with the Government to allow export of surplus sugar. With these huge surpluses it was not possible for sugar industry to carry on its business smoothly. Due to these surpluses, the price trend in the domestic market also remained on lowest side, not even matching the cost of production.

The Government was apprised in the month of April, 2022 about the surplus stocks of sugar in the Sugar Advisory Board meeting. There after despite having realized the reality of huge sugar surplus stocks, Government just kept quiet and remained reluctant to give an export policy on sugar. The international sugar prices remained very high and favourable for export. We tried to convince the Government for export through press conferences, advertisements and other means. Meetings of leaders of PSMA were held at Minister, Secretaries and expert levels but Government could not formulate a policy for Pakistan Sugar Mills Association Annual Report 2023 4 export of sugar. However, it is a success of Leadership of PSMA that we have been able to convince the policy makers about the availability of surplus stocks of sugar and there is a movement in Government at appropriate forums for allowing export. It is due to the untiring efforts of leadership of PSMA and unity shown by all the members that Sugar Advisory Board meeting is being held after 7 months today. We hope to get positive recommendations from Sugar Advisory Board and consequently Government allows export on priority.

We know that recent extended and heavy rains have played havoc across the country, causing floods and inflicting heavy losses on different crops including Maize, Cotton and Rice. Though rains and floods have also affected the Sugarcane crop in some areas, but collectively they cast a positive impact on the crop, resulting in better yield. It is a worth mentioning the fact that upcoming sugar year is expected to have almost similar sugar production to the tune of 7.8 million tons and we will have again surplus sugar, which needs to be taken care of along with the present available stocks through a comprehensive export policy. During the year under review, Advisor to Prime Minister on finance in an official meeting agreed that sugar industry will be run on the principle of free economy. It was also agreed that Government will keep buffer stocks of 500,000 tons of sugar to stabilize the market, as and when required. These commitments are recorded in the minutes of the Ministry of Finance issued on November 22, 2021. Chairman PSMA held a meeting with Minister for Finance and it was also agreed that sales tax on sugar will not be charged on a fix price, but on actual sale price however, the decisions are still pending for implementation.

During the year, PSMA had to deal with the challenges of fines imposed by Competition Commission of Pakistan. Despite all odds, opposition and coercive measures used by CCP, PSMA successfully defended the cases in Appellate Competition Tribunal Islamabad, Lahore High Court and Sindh High Court, and got the order of CCP Pakistan Sugar Mills Association Annual Report 2023 5 suspended in totality. There were many other issues, legal and administrative, from time to time, which were resolved amicably.

The overall environment remained hostile towards the sugar sector. PSMA leadership played a very positive role in bringing the situation to normalcy. Meanwhile, with the change of Government the process of normalization suffered and the issues were to be taken up a fresh. The process for resolving the issues is still on.

I take this opportunity to thank all honourable members of PSMA for extending their whole hearted support and cooperation to me and the Executive Committee. Whatever we have achieved it is because of our unity and mutual cooperation. I hope and pray that we keep working with same unity and cooperation in future also.

Now that the new Chairman and Executive Committee is about to take over, I wish them best, all the success and assure them of my whole hearted support and cooperation to every cause of PSMA. I am sure the new Executive Committee will lead the Sugar Sector with their best qualities and enthusiasm.

Ch. Muhammad Zaka Ashraf
Chairman Pakistan Sugar Mills Association
Islamabad .

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