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SC allows govt to take action on Sugar Commission Report

ISLAMABAD, July 14: Dismissing the stay order issued by the Sindh High Court, the Supreme Court Tuesday allowed the government to take action against sugar mills in the light of the Sugar Inquiry Commission (SIC) report.
A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, heard the case.
The apex court directed Islamabad and Sindh high courts to decide petitions of Sugar Mills in three weeks. The court also ordered the government officials to avoid giving statements about the Sugar Commission report.
The apex court in its order stated that the government should take action according to the law and directed it not to take any unnecessary action against the sugar mill owners.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had dismissed the federal government’s plea to stop the implementation on the recommendations of the Sugar Inquiry Committee (SIC).
Last month, the Interior Ministry had approached the apex court to challenge the SHC’s decision barring the federal government from taking action on the recommendations of the Sugar Inquiry Commission report.
The SHC had suspended the operation on the Sugar Inquiry Commission report to the extent of as many as 20 sugar mills owners in Sindh.
The interim order came on the petition of Mirpurkhas Sugar Mills and others, which sought quashing of the Sugar Commission Inquiry report.
The Sugar Inquiry Commission report which came out as a bombshell has been already rejected by the main opposition party PML-N. Meanwhile, the government has repeated multiple times that it will hold everyone accused of benefiting from the scandal accountable.
The Sugar Inquiry Commission report had laid bare some startling revelations about how the price of sugar is fixed, how exports of the commodity are faked to avail rebates on sales taxes, and how billions of rupees are overcharged by sugar mills owners. The report mentioned in depth how the amount of sugar exported to Afghanistan is routinely inflated to show as if 75 tonnes of the commodity were being exported per truck.
However, this is barely possible, given that the maximum capacity of a truck, even when overloaded, does not exceed 30 tonnes.
The scam also seemingly has another purpose: laundering money. If sugar is being exported to Afghanistan, the payment should also be coming in from the same country. However, it was found by the commission that many sugar mill owners were receiving telegraphic transfers for payments for sugar sold to Afghanistan from the US and Dubai, therefore seemingly whitening money and earning dollars at the same time. – TLTP

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