Govt makes Sugar inquiry commission’s report public

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From Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Accountability Shahzad Akbar said yesterday the government is going to make public a report of the Sugar Inquiry Commission formed to fix responsibility for the sugar crisis that hit the country earlier this year.

Speaking to media alongside Information Minister Shibli Faraz, he said the report will be made available on the Press Information Department (PID) website today.

The report vindicates what the prime minister has been stating from day one, Shahzad Akbar said.

“It has been the prime minister’s stance that if a businessman joins politics, he will still do business at people’s expense,” he said, adding the people are suffering because certain businessmen have taken the entire industry hostage.

According to the report, he revealed sugar mill owners inflicted losses on sugarcane growers consistently.

The commission found irregularities in advance payments to farmers in the form of cash or commodity, which is tantamount to unregulated banking, he disclosed, adding mill owners hurt farmers by indulging in informal banking and earned a profit of up to 35 per cent, he added.

Shahzad Akbar said the farmers were paid far less amount for their produce than the support price.

An impartial inquiry has been carried out into the production cost for the first time, he said, pointing out that sugar mills had fixed the cost of production at Rs51 per kilo in 2017-18, but the commission estimated it at Rs38 instead.

Similarly, in 2018-19, sugar millers set cost price at little over Rs52 but the report gave an estimate of Rs40.

The government’s point man accountability revealed that the sugar mill owners bought sugarcane at a lower price but showed a higher price in invoices.

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