Sugar’s cartel enjoyed Rs29 billion subsidy in last 5 years


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Accountability and chief of the Assets Recovery Unit (ARU), Shahzad Akbar has said that a subsidy of Rs29 billion was given to sugar industry during the last five years.
Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, Shahzad Akbar added that out of Rs29 billion subsidy, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led Punjab government gave a subsidy of Rs2.4 billion in the aforementioned period.
The special assistant said that PTI-led federal government has never given any kind of subsidy and only allowed export of surplus sugar.
He said previous government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz granted Rs26.6 billion subsidy. He claimed that former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, alone, had given a subsidy of Rs20 billion on the influence of Salman Shahbaz. “Commission’s report is an indictment against Abbasi,” he added.
Shahzad Akbar said that Sindh government run by PPP was too not far behind in granting subsidy to the sugar cartels. He said Sindh government granted a subsidy of Rs4.12 billion of which Omni Group was the biggest beneficiary.
The special assistant said that opposition parties, especially spokespersons of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are misinterpreting sugar inquiry report and they need to study the lengthy document again.
He said sugar report has given comprehensive findings and found regulator guilty of not checking the wrong doings in export of sugar and granting subsidy without calculating cost of production and due diligence.
Shahzad Akbar maintained that Prime Minister Imran Khan has fulfilled his promise by constituting the sugar commission and making its report public.
He said everyone who harmed public interest through political manoeuvring or other influences will be held responsible. He said irrespective of their party affiliation, the government would take action against all culprits exposed in the investigation report of the commission.
He said Shahbaz Sharif returned from London to lead the nation but he has
Self-quarantined himself to avoid appearance before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court to face corruption charges against him.
To a question, the SAPM stressed the need for overhauling the regulators to check such kind of illegality. – TLTP