LAHORE: Accusing the middle-men of causing a hike in the sugarcane purchase price, the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) Friday warned of an increase in the price of the commodity if no action was taken against the mafia.

In a statement, a spokesman for the PSMA said the price of sugarcane had crossed Rs300 per 40kg. He maintained that the illegal practices of middlemen were increasing the cost of production of sugar, The News reported. 

The spokesperson alleged that the Punjab government was not taking effective action against the middlemen.

The PSMA official said the middlemen purchase sugarcane from farmers at low rates and sell the crop to the mills at higher prices. 

“The issue was also highlighted by a representative of farmers during a meeting of the Sugar Advisory Board in Islamabad. Following that meeting, the Secretary Industries issued directions to the provincial governments to eradicate the middlemen, but they were continuing their illegal practices with impunity,” he added. 

The spokesman said sugar mills were not getting a sufficient quantity of sugarcane, which was hampering the crushing operations.

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