KARACHI: The Sindh High Court has declared the Sugar Inquiry Commission and the report null and void and ordered a new independent inquiry.
The owners of more than 20 sugar mills in Sindh had challenged the formation and report of the Sugar Inquiry Commission in the High Court.
The Sindh High Court has ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and other agencies to re-investigate the sugar shortage. Earlier, the Sindh High Court had ordered that no action be taken till the next hearing.
The Sugar Mills Association had earlier filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court against the inquiry report.
During the hearing of the case on June 11, the Islamabad High Court had suspended the implementation of the sugar Commission’s report for 10 days and ordered to sell sugar at Rs 70 per kg.
However, after a hearing on June 20, the court in a short judgment had rejected the application of the sugar mill owners and struck down the restraining order and allowed the government to take action in the light of the sugar inquiry report.
The Sugar Mills Association had maintained that the Sugar Commission of Inquiry did not meet legal requirements during its investigation into the rise in sugar prices and the crisis.
The Commission of Inquiry report had blamed regulators for the sugar crisis. Prince Akbar had said that due to the negligence of the regulators, the sugar crisis had arisen and the price had gone up. A subsidy of Rs 29 billion had been given in 5 years. The report clearly shows that a business class has paralyzed the system and put the burden on the people.
According to the report, the federation gave a subsidy of Rs 15.20 billion and the Sindh government gave a subsidy of Rs 9.3 billion.
According to the report, 88 billion rupees was given to 88 sugar mills in 5 years. In 5 years, these sugar mills paid income tax of Rs. 22 billion. These sugar mills received income tax refunds of Rs. 12 billion and a total income tax of Rs. 10 billion was paid.
The commission wrote in the report that the Sindh government benefited the Omni Group by providing a subsidy of Rs 9.3 billion.
Jahangir Tareen, Monis Elahi, Shahbaz Sharif and their families, Omni Group and Omar Shehryar were blamed for the sugar crisis, according to the final report of the commission investigating the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) investigation into the sugar crisis.
The forensic audit report had recommended filing and recovery of criminal cases against those involved in the sugar scandal, while the report suggested that the recovery amount be distributed among the affected sugarcane farmers.