Govt to challenge IHC decision regarding sugar commission report

Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: The government on Friday has announced to challenge the decision of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to stop the implementation on the Sugar Commission report. While talking on Shahzeb Khanzada’s show on Geo News, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar said that the government should appeal against the decision of the Islamabad High Court. He said that when the government will not be able to take action against the hoarders and violators, how will the public get sugar at Rs70 per kg? Yesterday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had barred the government from taking action on the sugar inquiry commission report, issuing directives for the product to be sold at the rate of Rs70/kg for the next 10 days. The 10-day stay order was issued by Chief Justice Athar Minallah on Thursday who was hearing a petition filed against the sugar inquiry commission report. During yesterday’s hearing, one of the counsels for the sugar mill owners, Makhdoom Ali Khan, had told the court that the Constitution has stated that the federation and provinces have different rights. The lawyer had told the court that an ad-hoc committee was formed in February to take action over the rising sugar prices. He added that the commission asked the federal government to carry out a forensic audit. “The committee was formed on the recommendations of the commission,” said the lawyer. To this, the IHC CJ asked the details about what the commission had said about the rising sugar prices. “The commission, in a 324-page report, mentioned a lot of reasons [for the sugar price hike],” Khan told the court. He added that the commission had requested that action be taken against the FBR, FIA and NAB officials. The Sugar Inquiry Commission’s report made some shocking revelations, according to which many sugar mill owners were receiving telegraphic transfers for payments for sugar sold to Afghanistan from the US and Dubai, therefore seemingly whitening money and earning dollars at the same time. While discussing the report’s findings in a recent media briefing, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar identified the mills owned by Shehbaz Sharif’s family, Jahangir Tareen, Khusro Bakhtiar’s brother and Moonis Elahi and revealed that six major sugar mill groups were acting as “cartels”. Akbar said sugar mills belonging to Jahangir Tareen’s group were found guilty of “double billing” and “over-invoicing” as well as “corporate fraud”. Speaking of Economic Affairs Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, he said that his brother is the one who owns a sugar mill and he does not hold political office. “We cannot ask Khusro Bakhtiar to resign from his post. An inquiry will be initiated against whoever is directly involved.” He said among the mills shortlisted is Alliance Mills which is owned by the RYK Group. Moonis Elahi has 34% ownership of the group.