QUETTA: Customs Enforcement Quetta has raised concerns over the movement of sugar to the bordering districts of Balochistan in excess of the quota allotted by the federal government. The department has written a letter to the Secretary Industries and Commerce Balochistan, seeking clarification on the issue.

According to the letter, the monthly quota for the whole district of Chagi is 367.4 metric tons (MTs), but 3872.6 MTs of sugar was moved in June 2023 and 2672.6 MTs of sugar was moved in July 2023. Similarly, Noshki has a quota of 465.2 MTs, but 5214.8 MTs of sugar was moved from Noshki in June 2023 and 534.8 MTs of sugar was moved in July 2023.

The letter stated that the monthly quotas notified by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Islamabad have been surpassed by a large margin. It also pointed out that the number of NOCs issued by the Director General, Industries and Commerce, Balochistan as per the web portal of the relevant department as of July 12, 2023 is 2862, which implies that 114,480 MTs of sugar have been allowed to move against the total annual quota of 159,764.62 MTs for entire Balochistan.

The letter said that it is feared that this extra quantity of sugar over and above the quota is being taken to bordering districts for onward smuggling to Afghanistan. It urged the Balochistan government to stop issuing any more NOCs or permits until the matter is resolved.

The letter also requested the provincial government to share any reasons for issuing NOCs or permits in excess of quotas allowed, or whether the quotas have been revised by the federal government. It said that such a practice could harm the national interest and create a shortage of sugar in the local market.