30,000 tons of sugar export: no deal signed with Tajikistan as yet

Despite passage of seven weeks, commercial agreement between Pakistan and Tajikistan for export of 30,000 tons of sugar has not been signed as yet. Sources told Business Recorder on Wednesday that Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has already dispatched a draft agreement to Tajikistan for final approval and is waiting for reply. 

“Some two weeks back, after completing all formalities, the state-run grain trader had sent a formal commercial agreement and transpiration tender’s quotations to Tajikistan government to finalise sugar export deal, however Tajikistan government has not responded as yet,” they said. 

On the other hand, TCP has made all arrangements for export of sugar and now awaiting Tajik government’s response, they added. In the second week of August 2012, Pakistan and Tajikistan had agreed on a sugar export deal of 30,000 metric tons, to be exported through TCP. After a two-day meeting on August 13-14, representatives of both countries reached a deal and later minutes of the meeting were mutually singed by Nurmahmad Akhmedov Chairman Agency on State Material Reserves of Tajikistan, and Pakistan’s Minister for Commerce, Makhdoom Amin Fahim. 

At the same time it was decided in principle between representatives of both counties that commercial agreement for sugar export will be finalised in two weeks, however till date no accord has been signed between both countries. As per minutes of the meeting, Pakistan will supply 30,000 metric tons of white refined sugar to Tajikistan some 20 dollars less than international market. The expected rate will be $528 per metric ton as on the day of dialogues sugar price in the world market stood at $548 per ton. 

Earlier, there was a dispute on the inland transportation cost as some officials of ministry of commerce were insisting on getting inland cost from Tajikistan. Now the matter has been resolved as the Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has decided not to get inland transportation cost form Tajikistan. TCP, at its end, has completed all the arrangements and even on demand of Tajikistan government, the state-run grain trader has re-floated its transportation tender to get rates for complete route. 

As per initial talks, it was decided that the point for delivery for sugar export will be Amangarh, district Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (close to Torkham border) and TCP will be responsible for delivering the commodity at Amangarh. Later, TCP issued tender and invited bids only for transportation of sugar to Amangarh. 

In the meantime, when TCP was analysing transporters’ bids, Tajik authorities requested for facilitation regarding the transport and asked the Corporation to issue another tender for transport hiring from Amangarh to Dushanbe (Tajikistan Boarder). Therefore, TCP issued another tender for transport hiring with a time validity of four days as Tajikistan government was seeking early delivery of sugar. Second tender was opened on September 11, 2012 and after three days scrutiny, the state-run grain trader also dispatched transportation quotation to Tajikistan officials for final approval. 

Despite the fact that now inland transport issue has been resolved and TCP on the request of Tajikistan government has provided transportation rates, commercial deal between Pakistan and Tajikistan has not been signed as yet. TCP has made all necessary arrangements for supply of the commodity and it can start supply on a notice of less than 24 hours, a TCP official said and added that now the delay is from the Tajik side as we have still not received any response from them. At the time of dialogues, government of Tajikistan was asking for delivery of sugar before winter season and accordingly Pakistan made all arrangements for early sugar export. 

Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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