Asad Umar defends decision to allow sugar export, denies PM's role

By: INP      Published: 11:31 PM, 21 May, 2020
Asad Umar defends decision to allow sugar export, denies PM's role
Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar says the prime minister did not pressurise him to allow sugar export.–File photo

Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said on Thursday neither he was pressurised by Prime Minister Imran Khan to decide matters relating to sugar subsidy nor the premier was under any pressure to allow sugar export.

Talking to a news channel, Asad said, “I am taking responsibility for the decision of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) to export sugar. PM Imran Khan had not been pressurised to export sugar nor the premier had forced me to take the decision,” he said.

"I still support the decision to export sugar at that time. In 2018, surplus stocks of sugar up to two million tons were present in the country. There was no shortage of sugar when the export was permitted (by the government). The question was raised over the hike in sugar prices when sufficient stocks of sugar were available in the country.”

“It is written in the law that sugarcane crushing will start from November 30. However, mill owners refused to start crushing until their demands were met. I am sure I was not blackmailed vis-à-vis the decision to export sugar.”

The former finance minister said that PM Khan probed the matter relating to sugar export and grant of subsidy, a practice that had been continuing in the country for a long time. “The matters, which were usually discussed at closed door meetings in the past, have been brought before the nation this time,” he said.