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Sugar mills mafia blackmailing the government

Islamabad, November 21, 2022 (PPI-OT):Former President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Dr. Shahid Rasheed Butt on Saturday said sugar mills have decided to delay crushing season if it is not allowed to export one million tonnes of sugar. Subjecting crushing to export permission is a bid to blackmail the government which should not be allowed, he said.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said that delaying crushing is tantamount to the worst exploitation of millions of farmers bankrupted by the recent flood. Delay in crushing will cause huge loss to sugarcane farmers which should not be allowed, he added. The business leader said that the government should take strict action against the influential sugar mill owners that do not start crushing as it will put a financial burden on farmers.

The sugar mills mafia is forcing farmers to commit suicide for their profit which is cruelty. Sugar mills claim that they currently have up to thirteen lakh tonnes of sugar, but the government wants to confirm the claim before taking any decision in this regard so that there is no sugar crisis in the country.

If the government allows the sugar mill owners to export one million tonnes of sugar, it will have to pay heavy subsidies as usual, and there will be a shortage of sugar in the country, which will further increase its price. Export of sugar will provide an opportunity for the profiteers to skin the public which is already facing unprecedented inflation, he observed.

Shahid Rashid Butt said that the Punjab government has fixed the purchase price of sugar at 300 rupees per 40 kg, which is 75 rupees more than last year which is a joke to the farmers. During the former regime, a sugar commission was asked to probe the sugar sector which pointed out the corporate frauds committed by some sugar mills through associated companies.

Issues of fake export of sugar to Afghanistan and money laundering came forward during investigations of the inquiry commission and were referred to the FIA. The Sugar Commission had also found sugar millers involved in various offenses under provincial laws such as payment to cane growers below the support price and illegal deductions on account of the weight of the cane. All such offenses were referred to the Anti-Corruption Establishments of Punjab, KP, and Sindh provinces for further investigation. However, ultimately, nothing seems to have worked for the people, who are forced to buy sugar for a massive price.

For more information, contact:
Dr. Shahid Rasheed Butt
Consul General Ghana
Former President ICCI
Former Patron ICST
Tel: +92-333-5132199, +92-51-2822571