Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan’s aide on accountability Shahzad Akbar has unveiled a comprehensive action plan outlined by the government to take to task the “sugar daddies” identified by the sugar inquiry commission as well as for an overall overhauling of the regulatory framework which had all the while “been in cahoots with the sugar mills”, Geo reported.
“Imran Khan was given a mandate for accountability in 2018. His 22-year political struggle has been for the same. For accountability of the powerful and influential. This was a big test for that mandate,” said Akbar, during a press conference in Islamabad alongside Information Minister Shibli Faraz.
Referring to the all parties conference called by the PPP in Punjab, Akbar went on to say, “This is not an all parties conference, it is an all sugar daddies conference.”
Akbar said that no matter how powerful a person is, no matter the party they belong to, or however wealthy, “no exceptions can be made” for anyone, and this was the line of inquiry followed by the probe commission.
“Transparency is of utmost importance when it comes to accountability. Before we take action over whatever matter is being pursued, it must be put before the people. That is why the report was made public,” said the premier’s aide.
He said the public, farmers, as well as industrial experts had been consulted over an “action matrix” that was developed.
Akbar said that the PM had approved three sets of actions during a meeting in Bani Gala earlier in the day, which he then proceeded to delineate.
These actions form the first set of actions approved by the premier and consist of the punishments to be given as well as the recovery mechanism to be enacted.
Within the broad category, seven major actions, including investigation of subsidy scandal, investigation of income and sales tax fraud, evasion and benami transactions, investigation of cartelisation, inquiry and investigation of export proceeds, loan defaults, write-offs and sale of pledged stocks, investigation of corporate fraud, investigation of potentially fake exports to Afghanistan and money laundering, and breach of provincial laws, were recommended.