Prime Minister orders crackdown against sugar mafia
Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday gave a go-ahead to Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and Federal Investigations Agency (FIA) to initiate crackdown against sugar mafia and report in 90-days in the wake of Sugar Commission report, 24NewsHD TV channel reported.
Prime Minister’s Adviser on Accountability and Interior Barrister Shazad Akbar wrote letters to State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor, Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) and to the Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretaries. Sugar Inquiry Commission report has also been sent along with the letters.
It is pertinent to note that federal cabinet gave approval for the crackdown against sugar mafia in 23 July meeting.
The FBR has been directed to audit all the sugar mills of the country including bainamee transactions of mills.
The federal government, as per the Supreme Court order, has directed the NAB to investigate the financials of sugar mills while the SBP has been directed to investigate suspicious exports and misuse of sugar stocks.
The federal government has directed the FIA and the SECP to conduct an inquiry into the corporate fraud while the CCP has been asked to submit reply why the commission did not take action timely against the sugar cartel.
Provinces have been asked to take action against the mills that paid less to the sugarcane growers against the set protocols.
It is pertinent to note that Supreme Court on 15 July voided a stay order of the Sindh High Court and allowed authorities to move against sugar mills’ owners in light of recommendations made by the Sugar Inquiry Commission (SIC) and in accordance with the law.
A three-member bench of the Supreme court comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel heard the federal government’s appeal against the Sindh High Court’s order which stayed the government from moving against sugar mills following a damning report of the SIC.
The Attorney-General during the course of hearing said Sugar Inquiry Commission was the first commission in which two chief ministers appeared.