By Irum Saleem
The Sugar Forensic Commission (SFC) has smartly saved the skin of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar who was involved in giving Rs3bn subsidy to different sugar mills.
The commission was constituted to find out those behind the sugar shortage and price hike of the commodity.
As today PM adviser Shahzad Akbar made public the forensic report of the commission but in a press conference in Islamabad he smartly saved the handpicked Buzdar for giving billions of rupees subsidy, in a way he is either incompetent to the core or partner in crime.
Akbar also tried his best to save another blue eyed of PM Khan, federal minister Khusroo Bakhtiar whose brother made billions in this scam.
Akbar was persistent that Bakhtiar was innocent.
Six major groups hold 51 per cent of the production supply of sugar as per the report. A total subsidies worth Rs29 billion over the last five years and tax income from 88 sugar mills across the country amounted to Rs10bn after tax refunds had been given.
The prime suspects are PTI big guns Jehangir Tareen, Khusroo Bakhtiar and Salman Shahbaz. The report says the JDW sugar mill of Tareen owns 21pc shares of the sugar industry.
His mill committed “double booking, under-reporting and over-invoicing”.
The report further says the mill under-invoiced sales from bagasse and molasses which resulted in 25pc cost inflation. They also committed corporate fraud whereby money was transferred from their PLC to their private company.
“Forward sales, satta, benami sales have all been associated with JDW too.”
The Al Arabiya mill owned by Salman Shahbaz Sharif was also audited, the SAPM said, adding that it was found to have committed fraud worth Rs400m through informal receipts and market manipulation.
Fun bits from the sugar report:— Benazir Shah (@Benazir_Shah) May 21, 2020
CM Punjab Usman Buzdar said he did not remember the meeting he had chaired to allow subsidies to sugar mills. pic.twitter.com/za50liH9I5
Two injustices have been committed in the whole scam — inflated cost of production and d against him.
Tareen tweeted in hia defence: “All Pakistan knows I always pay full price to my growers. I do not maintain two sets of books. I pay all my taxes diligently”. He added that he would “answer every allegation and be vindicated”.
I am shocked at the kind of false allegations levelled against me. I have always run a clean business. All Pakistan knows I always pay full price to my growers. I DO NOT maintain 2 sets of Books. I pay all my taxes diligently. I will answer every allegation and be vindicated IA.— Jahangir Khan Tareen (@JahangirKTareen) May 21, 2020
PMLQ senior leader Moonis Elahi who is also a partner in a sugar mills in Rahim Yar Khan said:
“As stated earlier I am not involved in the management nor am I on the board of any SugarMill. I strongly support the recommendation of commission to control satta/speculation including new legislation to help government control sugar price manipulation.”
As stated earlier I am not involved in the management nor am I on the board of any SugarMill. I strongly support the recommendation of commission to control satta/speculation including new legislation to help government control sugar price manipulation.— Moonis Elahi (@MoonisElahi6) May 21, 2020
Puppet Buzdar will be a happy man to get away with this scam and coming up as a ‘clean man’, thanks to smart work of PM Khan whose protégé he is. — Pak Destiny