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PM Shehbaz places ban on sugar exports to cater to high domestic demand

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif declared on Monday that he had placed a “complete ban” on sugar exports, owing to high “domestic demand”.

“Given the domestic demand, I have ordered a complete ban on the export of sugar. There will be a [sic] strict action against smuggling and hoarding. Absolutely zero tolerance [will be shown] for those found negligent in their duties,” the prime minister said in a tweet.

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According to state media, the ban is intended at stabilizing sugar prices in the country.

Consumers have complained about sugar and flour shortage at utility stores since last month, when the government had announced a reduction in the prices of various food items to provide relief during Ramazan.

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Local media reports had quoted consumers as complaining that store administrations were selling items on conditions. Oil and sugar were only being sold if customers bought other items and were not providing single items to consumers. Utility Stores Corporation staff later denied the allegations.

The consumers had called on the government to make sure sugar and other items were available at utility stores.

Utility Stores Corporation spokesperson Sajid Rehman told local media that the shortage at the time was temporary due to high demand at the stores.

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