ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan wants to strengthen institutions, not individuals, said Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Monday, hours after the prime minister made important changes to the federal cabinet following an FIA report that mentioned several PTI leaders who benefited from the sugar and wheat crisis in this country.
Referring to the reshuffle of the prime minister’s cabinet, Dr Firdous said that the aim behind the decision was to ‘introduce self-accountability’ in the country.
“The prime minister wants to strengthen institutions, not individuals,” he said. “It cannot be tolerated that public rights are taken away and that certain groups are taking advantage of that,” he added.
The press conference by the prime minister’s media advisers took place a few hours after PM Imran changed the portfolio of his cabinet members, most notably former food minister Khusro Bakhtiar who was assigned to the ministry of economic affairs.
On Saturday, an FIA report said that PTI senior leader Jahangir Tareen and brother Bakhtiar benefited most from the sugar crisis that occurred in January this year.
Saying that it was necessary to inform the masses about the prime minister’s decision, Dr Firdous stated that PM Imran had become a 95% vote and that the government would take legal action against anyone found working against the interests of the masses.
“Elite 5% has usurped 95% rights,” he said. “Ending public difficulties is the government’s top priority.”
Dr Firdous said that the government was waiting for a forensic report on the sugar crisis to be released this month. He said that PM Imran had proven that “there were no sacred cows” in the country and that no other government in Pakistan’s history had taken such a decision before.
PM Imran swears an action against profiteers after the forensic report
The prime minister appeared determined to take action against anyone found involved in the sugar and wheat crisis when the prime minister reported to Twitter on Sunday to say that he was waiting for a forensic report on the sugar crisis.
“After these reports come out, there is no strong lobby that can benefit at the expense of our public,” he tweeted.
“This has never happened before in Pakistan’s history. Previous political leadership because of their vague interests and compromise lacked the moral courage to order and issue such reports,” he was further tweeted.
I stand with the prime minister: Jahangir Tareen
Reacting to the FIA report, Tareen said he stood with the prime minister and would do it challenge the investigation committee if it finds it responsible for the sugar crisis.
“I am in constant contact with the prime minister and I support him,” Tareen said, adding that he had supplied 20,000 tons of sugar to utility shops at Rs67 a kilo, saving Rs250 million people.
“If I don’t sell sugar for Rs67 per kilogram, I will donate Rs250 million to the Prime Minister’s Corona Relief Fund,” he added.
Sugar background, wheat crisis
In January, the price of wheat surged across the country after it emerged that the amount of staple foods had dropped significantly on markets throughout the country.
News it has been reported that the wheat crisis originated in Sindh and then spread to other provinces. It was said that a corruption investigation into officials in the Sindh government made many people in the province reluctant to buy wheat which should add to the existing excess wheat stock. At one point, reserve reserves were as low as 0.2 million tons.
The problem is exacerbated by the decision to export 200,000 to 400,000 tons of wheat, maintaining a surplus stock based on estimates presented by the Ministry of National Food Safety and Research, but the actual export of wheat exceeds 640,000 tons.
Shortly after the wheat crisis ended, the price of sugar rose because the product was found to be in short supply in markets throughout the country. Hoarding and artificial increases in commodity prices are cited as the main reason for the surge in product prices.
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