|Other Events of the Year
Ministry of Industries
and Production on the directive of the President and the Prime Minister
of Pakistan initiated to formulate policies to add value to the sugarcane
by-products such as bagasse and molasses. PSMA was actively represented
and presented the initial project summaries in the two separate committees
constituted to prepare a project study for: -
- Formulation of National Policy on Indigenous Fuel Ethanol / Gasohol
production & use programme in Pakistan.
- National Policy for Power co-generation by the sugar industry.
Rigorous PSMA inputs and discussions were made during the separate meetings
called for the above projects by the Ministry of Industries & Production
during the past seven months.
Sugar industry was always blamed in the past for the lack of initiative
on the use of the by-products as been practiced in the rest of the World.
The industry having initiated nearly ten ethanol-manufacturing projects
with huge investment was glad to see Government support on the use of
ethanol. During several meetings on the formulation of blending ethanol
with petrol and the required legislation for this affect, the sugar industry
observed a very tough resistance from the oil companies whose vested interests
They took a strong plea on the basis of already surplus petrol available
in the country. To derail the formulation of policy they went to the extent
of a special presentation to the Prime Minister in the absence of the
representatives of Ethanol Manufacturers. Efforts are now being made by
the PSMA to put the project back on track.
In the mean-time due to high production and export of Ethanol from Pakistan,
the European Union has levied high import duties and is considering Anti-Dumping
Measures as well, against which the Government of Pakistan has been approached
for prompt action.
Similarly a number of meetings took place at the Ministry of Industries
for the formulation of National Policy for power co-generation by the
sugar Industry. In this case representatives of WAPDA, NEPRA, Sui Northern
and Sui Southern participated. For a regular supply of Electricity the
basic requisite of Power Co-generation by sugar mills was the supply of
gas during the period when the mills are non-operative. The representatives
of the gas companies came-up with their own problems of shortage of gas.
After detailed deliberations during the meetings chaired by the Minister
for Industries certain condition and criterion were laid out for the initial
start of the setup for power co-generation by the mills. The basic criteria
for consideration included the crushing capacity, self-sufficiency in
bagasse, the financial performance of the mill and the most important,
the location of the mills in relation to the access distance from the
main gas supply line.
The recommendations were to be forwarded to the Inter-ministerial Committee
for evaluation purposes.
During March’2005 PSMA delegation held meetings with the Chairman
CBR and discussed the various issues of sales tax, further sales tax,
audit procedures and other problems in documentation. CBR also explained
the general complains they had regarding the low sales tax collection
in 2003-04 which was due to the low sugar prices and elimination of additional
sales tax. The chairman CBR was informed that low collection of sales
tax was not due to tax evasion as been stated in the print media referring
to the CBR reports.
Initial reports indicate a further decrease in the plantation area for
the sugarcane. Against 967,000 Ha last year the plantation is reduced
by 7% to 900,000 Ha. PSMA estimates slightly higher cultivation as the
farmers are being encouraged by the high price of the sugarcane. Water
supply has been in abundance and is likely to continue during the maturity
season of sugarcane. High winter rains snow and moderate monsoon has assured
an above normal irrigation supply for the rest of the year which may result
a higher yield of 50-51 tonne per Hectare.
Sugar production 2005-06 is not foreseen any better than the last year
though diversion for fodder consumption may be at its lowest. Sugar production
is foreseen at 3.0 million tonne, against the estimated consumption of
4.0 million tonne. Carry forward stocks at mills including TCP’s
reserved stock stands at 577,650 tonne while the import is still in progress
for utilization in the month of October and November.
With the balance stock of 577,650 tonne on 30th Sept’05, the estimated
production 2005-06, the availability of sugar would be around 3.6 million
tonne, which needs to be supplemented with the in-time import and refining
of raw sugar to a considerable quantity.
Research and Development
The soaring sugar prices in the domestic and global market with expanding
demand is a wakeup call for the industry and the Government. There is
fresh warning and demand for research, development and innovation today
more than ever, unless the country is let to future consumer market. It
is high time to develop and extend the applied research services to the
growers and the mills for the enhancement of sustainable production of
sugarcane and its products.
Comprehensive and extensively involved sugarcane varietal research with
specific targets are urgently required with special emphasis on the sugarcane
varieties of less water dependency.
To increase the per acre yield there is also need to adopt new means
and methods for water conservancy and controlled irrigation system like
drip and sprinkle irrigation. The proposal for implementation and extensive
use of drip irrigation system was put up in the meetings with the Ministry
of Food in the presence of scientists & irrigation experts called
in on the occasion.
As indicated earlier the per hectare sugar production in Pakistan is
4.5 tonne, where as in our neighbourhood India has achieved 50% higher
production i.e. 6.5 tonne, Thailand at 6 tonne, Egypt at 12.5, Brazil
at 10 and above all Australia at 14 tonne are the examples in front of
us that we need to follow to achieve at-least self sufficiency based on
the economic growth of the farmers and the millers both.
Continued depressed prices of sugarcane and sugar will never lead to
any growth vital for an agro-based industry. Economic survival of the
growers and the millers should never be forced to depend on the short
supply of the commodities. Whenever interest of the growers and the miller
is sacrificed to offer favour to the consumer the option is short lived
and the commodity ultimately suffers.
Sugar production 2005-06 is indicated as deficit for over 2.0 million
tonne. The world consumption is projected to 151.3 million tonne against
the production estimated of 149.1 million tonne. Though various agencies
have minor difference for the shortfall forecast has alerted the international
market with visible activity.
The annual growth in consumption is catching up with the production and
nearly half the deficit is due to low production forecast in Pakistan.