Politicians' sugar mills.
Byline: Syed Tasadaq - Lahore
MOST sugar mills are owned by politicians or their close friends. These politicians belong to the PPP, PML-N and PTI.
Although banks are providing loans to sugar mills for the purchase of sugar cane, the sugar mill owners are not making payments to farmers promptly, particularly the mills owned by politicians with the exception of a few.
Whenever there is a surplus in sugar, the government allows export and provides subsidiary to match the price of sugar in the international market when it is lower than the domestic price.
But when the price in the international market is high, the mill owners do not share their profit with the government.
In a free market economy, it is not the government's responsibility to get involved in any businesses which are handled by the private sector in developed countries. The price is determined on the basis of supply and demand.
One major reason for the poor state of our economy is that the government is involved in energy and sugar businesses. It is time that the government allowed the market economy to operate on its own.
The government's role is that of a watchdog to protect the people's interest.
The government should consider free education and healthcare to the people as its prime responsibilities.