Sugar crisis intensifies in Punjab’s provincial capital

Police raids various warehouses, recovers hundreds of sugar bags

LAHORE: Despite the government’s claims, the sugar crisis in Lahore could not be overcome and has instead intensified, leaving citizens worried to due to the product’s unavailability in markets during Ramzan.

Vendors of departmental stores said that they were unable to get sugar for customers as it is not available in any of the main wholesale markets.

On the other hand, Utility Stores have laid down a unique condition for giving sugar, making it mandatory to buy other goods worth Rs1,500 for two kilogrammes of sugar.

It may be mentioned here that the government is taking action against the sugar mills and hoarders.

A local vendor, Tariq Shah, informed the scribe that crowds seeking to buy are coming on a daily basis. “The situation is even more testing as sugar is used in most of the items made for iftari or sehri,” he said.

Similarly, customers at Ramzan Bazaars in the provincial capital were made to wait in long queues for a mere two kilogrammes of the commodity as well.

Muhammad Arshad, a customer in Ramzan Bazaar, was disappointed at the scenario and said, “I came here early in the morning but the line is so long that I am still here, empty handed despite the passage of hours.”

Sugar is also unavailable in departmental chain stores of Lahore.

Saleem Akhtar, a customer at a departmental store, was of the opinion that people should stop eating sugar and opt for gurh or shakar (jaggery). “This is a very distressing situation in Ramzan. I have purchased gur and shakkar now and will not get the even when it is available in the markets.”

When the spokesperson of district administration was asked about the hoarding, he replied that Assistant Commissioner (AC) City, Faizan Ahmed, had raided a warehouse in Begum Kot and seized 230 bags of sugar.

“Similarly, AC Shalimar Mansoor Qazi seized 360 bags of sugar in a warehouse at Garhi Shahu while AC Model Town Ibrahim Arbab also took action and fined ANF Mart Kahna, Rs60,000 for selling sugar at Rs95 per kg.

According to the spokesperson, stored sugar bags will be sold to vendors in different markets at wholesale rates. “Hoarding is not allowed at all. Deputy Commissioner (DC) Lahore, Mudassar Riaz, has directed to continue a strict crackdown on hoarding,” he added.

When contacted by Profit, DC Mudassar Riaz denied the shortage and said that the district administration has made the best arrangements at the sugar stalls in the Ramzan bazaars.

“Citizens are not facing any difficulties as sugar is being available at Rs65 per kg in Ramzan markets,” he said.

He also said that chairs were installed in all Ramzan bazaars in Lahore two days ago for those who may have to wait to buy anything due to rush hour.

“Men and women are buying sugar with dignity and respect. There is no queue of any kind on sugar stalls,” the Lahore DC said.

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Shahab Omer
The writer is a member of the staff and can be reached on [email protected]
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