Federal Finance Minister Hammad Azhar said on Wednesday that the government has decided to import 0.5 million metric tonnes of sugar from India.

He further said that the sugar will be imported by the private sector.

Addressing a presser at the Press Information Department (PID) this afternoon, Azhar said, “Pakistan will also open the trade of cotton with India.”

He added that the government has to make tough decisions for the country in view of a given situation.

“The basis of our decisions will be the interest of the country and its people, he maintained.”

“The price of the commodity in India is lower than what it is in Pakistan and this is the reason behind the decision,” Azhar explained.

Regarding the import of cotton, the minister said, “The import of cotton from India for small industries will take place until the month of June.”

“In comparison, there’s a Rs15 to Rs20 difference in the price of sugar in the two countries.”

The minister added that all government departments were working in coordination to provide subsidies to the masses.

The government will also release sukuk bond, he said, but declined to issue a release date as of now.

“Pakistan is witnessing stability in the current account deficit and foreign exchange reserves,” he observed.

Regarding his appointment, he said that he will remain in contact with the members of the Parliament.

Petrol prices

Meanwhile, the minister announced to slash the price of petrol and diesel by Rs1.5 per litre and Rs3 per litre, respectively

According to Azhar, the benefit of the uptick in the value of rupee doesn’t come at once, saying Pakistan was making a steady progress.

On Tuesday, the currency maintained its uptrend and strengthened to a fresh 22-month high at Rs153.09 against the US dollar in the inter-bank market as the country began the process to raise $2.5 billion by selling 5 to 30-year Eurobonds in world markets.

“We have made the State Bank autonomous and our decisions are based on the interest of masses.”