PM Imran Khan gives nod to launch action against sugar barons

Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday ordered authorities to launch a crackdown against sugar mafia in light of the sugar inquiry commission report.

According to details, the prime minister has ordered Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to launch an investigation against sugar barons in light of the sugar inquiry commission report.

The premier has also directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to conduct an audit of all sugar mills across the country.

In this connection, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar has forwarded a letter to governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Competition Commission of Pakistan and three provinces.

In a letter written to concerned authorities, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has directed concerned authorities to submit implementation report on the matter in the next 90 days.

The government also directed FBR to investigate matters related to unnamed accounts, transactions and tax evasion.

The letter reads that State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has been directed to investigate into sugar mills’ loans and fake exports, while the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has been tasked to probe the export issue of sugar mills.

Moreover, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has been ordered to determine the responsible people under the facts of sugar commission report.

The Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered anti-corruption watchdog to analyse the aspects of subsidies which went against laws.

The federal government also sought clarification from Competitive Commission of Pakistan over delay in action against sugar mafia. The commission will investigate matters like sugar hoarding and non-supply of sugar at utility stores.

It is pertinent to mention here that the federal cabinet had approved an action plan against sugar mafia back in June.

On June 23, the Sindh High Court had stopped the government from further action on the sugar inquiry commission report. The petition was filed against the sugar inquiry commission report by Khairpur Sugar Mills and 20 others.

Earlier on July 14, the Supreme Court nullified the Sindh High Court’s June 23 stay order that restrained the federal government from taking action against sugar mills in light of the sugar inquiry commission’s recommendations.

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, allowed the federal government’s petition challenging the SHC order. The government through the attorney general for Pakistan had filed the appeal in the apex court, requesting it to set aside the restraining order the high court gave on a petition moved by sugar mill owners.

Back in May, the federal government had released the sugar inquiry commission report.