ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) has refused to supply sugar to utility stores at the reduced rate of Rs63, as was recommended by the government, saying that the recommendation “has no legal standing”.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Industries and Production had written a letter to PSMA in the pursuance of an Islamabad High Court (IHC) order.
An official of the ministry said that PSMA should provide sugar at Rs63 per kilogramme to utility stores, so it could sell the commodity at Rs70 per kg to the consumer, as directed by IHC.
In a letter written in response to the ministry on Sunday, the PSMA said it agrees to supply sugar at Rs70 per kg under the interim court order.
“We are ready to give sugar at a rate of Rs70 per kg to non-commercial establishments for domestic use,” the association said, adding that about 60,000 tonnes of sugar will be delivered to markets.
It said that until under the court order, the federal government can make arrangements to procure the sugar at that rate.
“Until the arrangements are finalised regarding the sugar price, the sugar mills will supply sugar at Rs70 per kg for commercial use,” the association wrote in the letter.
Earlier, on Wednesday, the association and 17 other mill owners — including Jahangir Khan Tareen — challenged the report by the Sugar Inquiry Commission in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) alleging that legal formalities were not fulfilled during the investigations conducted by the commission.
The commission, in its report, has accused the sugar mill owners of earning illegal profits in the tens of billions of rupees through unjustified price hikes, benami transactions, tax evasion, suspicious sugar export deals, illegal power production, misuse of subsidy and purchasing sugarcane off the books.