NAB summons PSMA chief on 25th in sugar scandal

RAWALPINDI: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Rawalpindi office has decided to summon all the persons nominated in the sugar scandal after receiving records from the relevant institutions on Thursday.
The anti-graft watchdog issued a call-up notice to Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) chairman Sikandar Muhammad Khan. The accused was asked to appear before NAB investigators along with records on March 25 in Islamabad.
Sources said that NAB has asked him to provide details of the subsidy granted on sugar between 2017 and 2019, as well as details of sugar production and its cost during the period of three years.
Moreover, the relevant records of in-house meetings of the sugar mill owners and the report which recommended the federal government to grant subsidy during the three-year period were also sought by the NAB investigators.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal had greenlighted investigation into the wheat and sugar scandal in April last year. The approval had been given in an executive board meeting where it was decided that the NAB will also thoroughly investigate alleged smuggling of wheat and sugar and subsidies to the sectors.
It is pertinent to mention here that the federal government had made public reports of a high-level inquiry into the sugar and wheat crises that had hit the people hard across the country in January 2020.
Under the stewardship of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) director general Wajid Zia, two teams had carried out a probe into the crises and furnished their reports to the prime minister upon completion for perusal. Prime Minister Khan had gone through the report before it was made public.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had also vowed legal action against those responsible for the sugar and wheat price hike after the detailed forensic reports.
Meanwhile, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday summoned Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz in the Raiwind land transfer case on March 26.
The PML-N leader has also been summoned by the anti-graft authority in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case on the same date. The NAB has directed Maryam to bring all the required documentation at the time of her appearance.
The anti-graft body has alleged that at least 1,440 kanals of land was transferred in Maryam’s name. This happened after 2013 when 3,568 kanals of land was transferred in the name of the Sharif family.
The NAB has alleged that 3,568 kanals land was purchased by the Sharif family in 2013. Out of this, the largest share – 1,936 kanals or 242 acres – was transferred in the name of Shamim Bibi, the mother of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif. The property transferred against Maryam’s name was from this share of the property.
In August 2020, NAB’s Lahore bureau expanded its scope of investigation against the Sharif family in the case. The master plan of Lahore was introduced in 2004. However it was amended in 2013 through a notification by the Lahore district council, and the residential areas of Raiwind tehsil were transferred and categorised as agricultural land. Sources said the amendments were introduced to benefit the Sharif family.
Earlier on Wednesday, the PML-N leader was summoned by NAB on March 26 for the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case as well. – TLTP

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