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Pakistan

Web Desk
April 5, 2020

Action must be taken against profiteers after 'serious revelations' in probe committee's report: Shehbaz Sharif

Pakistan

Web Desk
Sun, Apr 05, 2020

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday said that the committee tasked with probing the sugar and wheat crisis has made some "serious relevations" which need to be probed.

He demanded that action be taken against those who profited from the sugar and wheat crisis, based on the findings contained in the   report, which was made public yesterday. 

"This report is a charge sheet against Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar," he said.

Sharif said that the coming days will reveal what punishment the prime minister — who is also the chairman of the Economic Coordination Committee — will decide for himself and his chief minister "over such a massive scale of corruption and nepotism".

Meanwhile, the government's chief spokesperson, Firdous Ashiq Awan, in a media briefing in Sialkot, said that Sharif need not act all high and mighty over the report.

"This report has also mentioned a Rs1.4 billion subsidy given to Suleman Shehbaz," she said, referring to Shehbaz Sharif's son.

She said that the current government had provided Rs3bn in subsidies whereas the past government had provided subsidies worth Rs22bn.

"Let's see when Shehbaz Sharif calls his dutiful son over from London for punishment."

Suleman, in his defence, has claimed that the Rs1.4bn figure "is a lie concocted by Imran Khan and his cronies".

He has shared a screenshot of year-on-year allocation of subsidy to sugar exports, showing a little over Rs330 million in subsidy from 2014-2018 and no subsidy for 2018-19.

Report's broad findings

An inquiry committee constituted by Prime Minister Imran Khan to investigate the sugar and wheat crisis has held the federal and Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments responsible.

The report by the three-member committee has named, among other prominent figures, top PTI members.

According to the report, which surfaced yesterday, Jahangir Khan Tareen (JKT), Makhdoom Omer Shehryar Khan (brother of Khusro Bakhtiar) and his partners Chaudhry Munir and Chaudhry Moonis Elahi are the major beneficiaries of sugar export subsidy and price hike.

The committee has revealed that maximum benefit of export was drawn by JDW Group (Jahangir Khan Tareen) by availing itself of 22% of total subsidy of Rs561 million.

Similarly, second highest beneficiary was the RYK Group run by Makhdoom Omer Shehryar Khan availing itself of 18% of subsidy of Rs452 million. The Group owners also include Chaudhry Munir and Moonis Elahi. The third highest was Shamim Ahmed Khan (Al Moiz Group) availing itself of 16% of subsidy of Rs406 million.

The committee in its findings has also included data on subsidy given for the last 5 years to the tune of around Rs25 billion, 3 billion out of which was given the previous year.

According to the consolidated data, RYK Group has been the largest beneficiary with total subsidy of 4 billion, JDW with over Rs3 billion, Hunza Group with Rs2.8 billion, Fatima Group with 2.3 billion, Sharif Group with Rs1.4 billion and Omni with Rs901 million.