Centre assails Sindh govt-sugar mills 'nexus'.

ISLAMABAD -- With sugar prices skyrocketing on the eve of fresh sugar production season, the Centre on Monday squarely blamed a 'nexus between the Sindh government and sugar industry' based in that province for hatching conspiracies against the federal government and vowed to 'continue waging long-drawn war against the mafia'.

The provincial government and Sindh chapter of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) have 'hatched a conspiracy against the federal government', but this is affecting the people of Pakistan, Energy Minister Hammad Azhar said at a hurriedly called news conference soon after Prime Minister Imran Khan presided over a meeting on price control.

Mr Azhar said he had been directed by the prime minister to give a briefing on sugar prices because his relevant colleague - Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar - and his family were involved in sugar business and he had excused himself.

He alleged that sugar mills in Sindh, which normally began sugarcane crushing on October 15, had started boilers this year too, but then the boilers were switched off.

A statement issued by the PM Office said the meeting, presided over by the prime minister, was attended by Hammad Azhar, Industries Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, Food Minister Syed Fakhar Imam, Law Minister Farogh Naseem, Adviser to the prime minister on finance Shaukat Tarin, the FBR chairman, PM's adviser on interior Shahzad Akbar and special assistant Shahbaz Gill. The chief secretaries and senior officers of Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa attended it virtually.

'Why every political family in the country has sugar mills? What is the attraction that while they fail in all other businesses, they come into the sugar industry and earn whopping profits? This is because of this nexus,' Mr Azhar said, repeatedly blaming the purported nexus for most of the ills causing sugar price hike.

He reiterated the government's oft-repeated promise to provide sugar to the people at Rs90 per kg as reports suggested its price was hovering between Rs140 and Rs160 in various parts of the country.

While the PM Office said Prime Minister Khan had ordered strict action against 'sugar mafia and hoarders' to bring down prices, the energy minister said the ongoing war against cartels could not be won in a month or a year, but promised that sugar prices would significantly come down in two-three weeks.

He said the government would immediately release 100,000 tonnes of...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT