LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday temporarily allowed the Punjab government to impose a former factory sugar price at Rs80 to meet commodity demand during the upcoming month of Ramadan.
Prior to issuing the order, Judge Shahid Jamil Khan gave the factory and government two opportunities to settle the matter peacefully. The factory agreed to sell sugar for Rs83 to the government, but the dialogue was fruitless.
Tandlianwala Sugar Mills and others have challenged the government’s decision to price the former sugar mill at Rs80.
Opposing the petition, a government legal official said there were 2.5 million tonnes of sugar in factory stock while demand during Ramadan was around 155,000 tonnes.
The judge observed that there should be no shortage of sugar during the fasting month. He allowed the government to buy sugar from the factory for Rs80 to meet the demand in the month of Ramadan. The judge adjourned the hearing until the date to be set after Eid.
Previously, the judge had suspended the alleged price of the former factory. Factory lawyers argued that the government damaged the applicants’ reputation by equating false accusations of stockpiling. They said the industry ministry had sent officials at the factory to impose a price for ex-factory sugar.
They argued that the government could not impose prices on factories and asked the court to override the alleged notification of commodity price fixing.
Meanwhile, speaking to the presser, Prime Minister Adviser for Accountability and Home Affairs Shahzad Akbar said the government had set Rs80 as the ex-factory price and the sugar retail price Rs85 based on data provided by the factory in addition to adding to the 15 percent profit. .
Following the LHC’s decision on fixing the price of used sugar mills and retailers, Akbar tweeted: “Big help from the LHC, where he has ordered a Rs80 supply of sugar at the former mill as determined by the federal and provincial governments during Ramadan. “
He also tweeted that it was PM Imran Khan’s government first win in protecting the common people from profiteering.
Stating that the increase in the price of Re1 sugar per kilogram means a profit for sugar mills of IDR 5.5 billion, Akbar explained that the price of sugar has been increased from Rs30 to Rs40 per kg.
“The government has recovered Rs400 billion from abnormal profiteers, while there are courts remaining on recovering Rs60 billion abnormal profits,” he added.
Published in Dawn, April 8, 2021
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