Dirty politics: Sugar mafia threatens govt against legal action
Sugar Mafia threatens PM Khan and DG FIA to stop inquiries into their dirty operations, as they leech off of the nation
Islamabad, 6th April: PM Pakistan on Saturday exposed the sugar and wheat shortage scandals and issued an inquiry committee to probe into the scam, after which major administrative actions will follow in the coming days.
According to reports of Baaghi TV, Prime Minister Imran Khan has instructed the DG FIA and the Chairman of Inquiry Commission Wajid Zia to carry out the investigation and that the corrupt mafia put to task. PM is also considering removing some of his key ministers from the cabinet besides expelling Jahangir Tareen from PTI.
As per sources, the sugar mafia has threatened Prime Minister Imran Khan as well as DG FIA Mr. Wajid Zia to stop the inquiry into the sugar scandal and not to carry out the criminal action against the mafia, otherwise, the country will have to face the shortage of the commodity and a price hike reaching to Rs 110 per kg of the sugar.
The role of a PM’s adviser as head of the Sugar Advisory Board also came into question, whereas a top PTI leader is not only in the focus for being one of the leading sugar tycoons but was also head of the Task Force on Agriculture.
The Sugar Inquiry Committee, led by Wajid Zia has been converted into the Sugar Inquiry Commission by the government to dwell deeper into the investigations of the sugar industry and unleash the mafia behind it. The Commission, which has to give its report to the prime minister on April 25, is at present checking the ledgers, bank reports, export details, market sales, etc of the sugar mills.
According to sources, the Commission is fully investigating the case and has been able to unveil many fraudulent acts by the mafia, including the findings like the brokers who were sold sugar by the mills turned out to be the truck drivers.
The reports submitted to the government by the Inquiry Commission will initiate criminal actions against those involved. These investigations are badly hurting the sugar mafia which is now putting all sorts of hurdles in their path and trying their best to stop the further inquiry.
The findings of the Inquiry Commission on the sugar crisis and price hike in Pakistan has put the blame on the decision of allowing sugar export in 2018 and the deal was further eased out when subsequently the Punjab government provided Rs 3 billion subsidies out of nowhere.
When the PTI government came into power in 2018, there was surplus sugar in the country, therefore, the Sugar Advisory Board (SAB) under Chairmanship of Advisor Commerce, Industries and Production recommended exporting one million tonnes of sugar.
According to the Commission, this was approved by the ECC despite the fact that Secretary Food Security expressed serious concerns over low sugar production the next year. However, sugar was exported and the Punjab government also provided a subsidy in this regard.
According to the findings of the Inquiry Commission from January 2019 till May 2019, sugar was exported availing subsidy given by Punjab. It has been highlighted that during this period sugar prices in the local market increased from Rs55 per kg to Rs71 per kg.
Therefore, sugar exporters benefited in two ways. First by availing the subsidy of Rs 3 billion and secondly taking full advantage of the price hike.
The Sugar Commission also highlights the major beneficiaries of export subsidy and price hike. The maximum benefit of export was drawn by JDW Group (Jahangir Khan Tareen) by availing 22% of the total subsidy worth Rs561 million.
The second highest beneficiary was RYK Group run by Makhdoom Omer Sheheryar Khan (brother of Khusro Bakhtiar) availing 18 percent of subsidy worth Rs452 million. This group’s ownership also includes Ch Munir and Moonis Elahi.
The third highest was Shamim Ahmed Khan (Al Moiz Group) availing 16 percent of subsidy worth Rs406 million.
The Commission suspects the joint collision of Sugar Mills and wholesale sugar dealers behind this scam. Constituted by the federal government, the Commission can unearth evidence and trace parties involved.
It also reported that a subsidy of Rs25 billion was given to sugar mills in the last five years, while Rs3 billion was given in the last year alone.
According to consolidated data, the RYK group is the single largest beneficiary with a total subsidy of Rs4 billion, JDW over Rs3 billion, Hunza Group at Rs2.8 billion, Fatima Group at Rs2.3 billion, Sharif Group at Rs1.4 billion and Omni at Rs901 million.
The Commission will conduct a forensic audit of the sugar industry to trace all the fraudulent activities of the mafia, which could lead to penal actions along with a review of the future agriculture strategy in the country.
Stay tuned to Baaghi TV for further updates.