Fulfilling his promise of ensuring transparency and accountability in governance, Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has not only made the inquiry reports into the sugar and wheat shortage public but also ordered the formation of a commission to conduct a forensic audit of the sugar mills, including JDW that is owned by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leader Jahangir Tareen.
As per the details, a report by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Saturday claimed that top PTI members were among those who gained from the recent sugar crisis in the country. An investigation into the crisis had been ordered by Prime Minister Imran Khan in February.
Among the people named in the FIA report are Tareen and Makhdum Omer Shehryar, a relative of Minister for National Food Security Khusro Bakhtiar, Geo reported.
According to the report, sugar price was increased from Rs 55 per kg in December 2018 to Rs 71.44 per kg in June 2019, despite the fact that the General Sales Tax (GST) increase was implemented from July 1, 2019. After the export of sugar in January 2019, its price started increasing immediately in the local market.
The major beneficiaries of the subsidy offered by the government on export of sugar include RYK Group, owned and controlled by Shehryar, which availed 15.83 per cent of the total export subsidy amounting to Rs3.944 billion. Chaudhry Munir and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) senior leader Moonis Elahi are also partners in this group.
JDW Group owned and controlled by Tareen availed 12.28 per cent of the total export subsidy amounting to Rs3.058bn, while Hunza Sugar Mills availed 11.56 per cent of the total subsidy amounting to Rs 2.879bn. Hunza Sugar Mills is owned by Muhammad Waheed chaudry, Idrees Chaudhry and Saeed Chaudhry.
Sugar mills owned by the Sharif family availed 5.91 per cent of the total export subsidy amounting to Rs1.472bn.
The document does not mention under whose influence the Punjab government issued subsidies to sugar mills or why the Economic Coordination Council (ECC) approved the decision to export sugar.
Reacting to the report, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said he has faith that whatever the situation, PM Imran “will ensure justice”.
Tareen, PTI’s former general secretary, said that out of the Rs3 billion subsidy to the sugar mills, Rs2.5 billion were given when the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was in power.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that the commission due to submit its report on April 25 has started working and nine teams are already on the ground for carrying out forensic analysis of 10 sugar mills, including Alliance Sugar mills Ghotki, Al-Arabia Sugar Mills Sargodha, Al-Moiz 1 Sugar Mills DI Khan, Al-Moiz 2 Sugar Mills Mianwali, Hamza Sugar Mills RY Khan, Hunza 1 and Hunza 2 Sugar Mills Faisalabad and Jhang, and JDW 1,2, and 3 Sugar Mills RY Khan and Ghotki.