ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan’s government will launch NAB, FIA, FBR, SECP, the Anti-Corruption department and the Pakistan Competition Commission to begin the process – under criminal, tax, regulatory and anti-corruption laws – against the sugar mafia identified in Sugar recently this. Commission report, it’s studied.
This action will not be limited to sugar mills and people whose roles have been included in the report, but relevant agencies will be asked to conduct a forensic audit of all other sugar mills to improve what the sources call the “sugar mafia” once and for all.
Government actions will involve arrest, FIR registration and criminal cases, tax proceedings and regulatory actions. Government sources told The News that the issue of subsidies might be referred to the NAB or FIA to investigate all of this, including even Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, who has allowed subsidies for the past five years.
These sources said that at the direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan, his Special Assistant to the Responsibility and Interior of Shahzad Akbar was currently launching a proposal to start action on the sugar mafia based on what was recommended by the Sugar Commission.
It is said that the action plan against the sugar mafia is expected to be completed and announced by the end of this week. Those involved in preparing the action plan rely on the recommendations of the Sugar Commission.
“We are bound to implement this recommendation,” said one source, adding that all relevant institutions will refer cases according to their domains to ensure that any criminality, illegality, taxes and regulatory violations are handled properly and those found responsible are made to be responsible .
It was said that almost all the nine sugar mills that the forensic audit had carried out were found to be involved in the error. It was said that the relevant departments would now be directed to carry out other sugar factory forensic audits to identify their role.
Asked whether the government would investigate Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on the issue of subsidies or would only focus on past rulers, these sources said the Sugar Commission’s findings on subsidies would be referred to the NAB or FIA for investigation and action on all those involved.
These sources say there will be no exceptions. The Sugar Commission report reflects the poor role of the Punjab minister for allowing Rs3 billion in subsidies for sugar mills. “We cannot ask for selective action when the Sugar Commission report also finds subsidies given during the PTI period as‘ unjustified, “said a source.
The report found a serious error in the sugar factory owned by Jahangir Tareen, Moonis Elahi, Omar Shehryar, Omni Group and Sharif Group. The forensic report uncovered gross errors by the sugar industry in the form of underreported sugar sales, commodity sales to benamidar buyers (unnamed), double orders, excess invoices, baggage and molasses sales that are less billed which results in inflation costs and many other corporate frauds have been detected in a sugar factory transaction.
The commission, which was formed by the Ministry of Home Affairs to conduct a sugar factory forensic audit, has audited the records of six sugar factories including Prime Minister Imran Khan’s close aide, Jahangir Khan Tareen, Jair’s JDW sugar factory, PML-Q factory owned by the leader of the Alliance’s sugar mill. Moonis Elahi and Salman Shahbaz own the Al Arabiya sugar factory.
The report has highlighted that all have been involved in committing corporate fraud to reach billions of rupees. The entire sugar industry announced total sales of around Rs 124 billion; of Rs43 billion is sold to registered people. If sales are made to people registered with an Income Tax worth Rs14 billion, then the remaining sales of Rs58 billion have been made to unregistered people who are suspected of Benamidars.
Likewise, the report highlights that less production has contributed very little to the increase in sugar prices. Other factors such as market manipulation, stockpiling and “Satta” practices are also responsible for price increases.
The difference between sugar cane produced and crushed is significant. The significant quantity of this gap can be attributed to the purchase of sugar cane outside the book and the production of sugar produced outside the book. This factor is strongly supported by the evidence gathered during the forensic audits of most of the sugar factories that were audited.
Regarding market manipulation, the report said there was ample evidence of market manipulation to profit from certain sugar mills through contracts going forward, not raising sugar for sale and facilitating selected brokers who enjoyed “Satta”. Although there are clear indicators that cartelization exists, the main regulator namely CCP has remained a silent audience since its report on cartelization in 2009.
The problem prevailing in the sugar industry has been debated since 2009 and is not a foreign problem. According to the report, there is sufficient evidence of sugar hoarding at the sugar factory level with respect to brokers / investors.
Sugar factories facilitate storing the stock that is being sold in their warehouses, which leads to inappropriate profiteering. Although there are relevant laws (Register of Acts of the Gods in Punjab and Sindh), there is no data on sugar stock, by stockists or sugar factories, managed by the province.