In response to the caretaker government’s vigorous efforts to combat smuggling and the stockpiling of essential goods, the price and accessibility of sugar have gradually been returning to a stable and normal state.
As part of its strategy, the government has also introduced cash rewards for citizens who provide information leading to the identification of individuals involved in smuggling and hoarding activities.
To facilitate this initiative, a toll-free hotline has been established at both the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Ministry of Interior. This hotline allows people to report information about those engaged in illegal practices that are detrimental to the national economy, as reported by the state news agency.
To combat hoarding, federal and provincial governments have initiated operations in various cities, including Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Peshawar, Quetta, and Dera Ismail Khan. These efforts have resulted in the confiscation of unlawfully stockpiled sugar.
For instance, in Rawalpindi, the district administration has taken stringent action against sugar hoarders by conducting raids on illegal warehouses. They have sealed 13 warehouses in Tayyaba Market and Rattaamral, confiscating over 1,000 sugar bags weighing 50 kilograms. Additionally, five shops in Dalgaraan and Naswar Bazaars were sealed for hoarding sugar.
In Peshawar, the district administration recovered 311 tons of sugar bags from godowns on Daraband Road, while in Quetta, a major crackdown on the sugar mafia led to the recovery of 250 tons of sugar and 750 tons of urea fertilizer in the outskirts of the provincial capital.
In Faisalabad, the district administration conducted raids on sugar storage facilities within the city’s revenue limits to address artificial shortages and black market sales.
In Lahore, an agreement was reached between the Punjab government and sugar mill owners to sell sugar at the rate of Rs 140 per kilogram.
In Dera Ismail Khan, the local administration carried out raids on marked godowns on Daraband Road, resulting in the recovery of 5,000 bags of sugar. In another raid, 650 bags of hoarded sugar were seized from the Maryali superstore.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) reassured the public that ample sugar stocks were available at controlled prices nationwide. Sugar was accessible at Rs 147 per kilogram for general customers and at Rs 101 per kilogram for customers registered under the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).