Court seeks govt, SBP reply on hoarding of sugar

Court seeks govt,  SBP reply on  hoarding of sugar
AFP

LAHORE: Justice Ijazul Ahsan of the Lahore High Court on Friday issued a notice to the federal government, State Bank of Pakistan, Inland Revenue Wing of the Federal Board of Revenue and others on an application against the increase in the sugar price.
The judge sought replies on the petition until March 17. 
A lawyer, Ahmad Imran Ghazi, filed this application against the recent increase in sugar price in his already-pending petition against black marketing, profiteering and hoarding of sugar. 
Counsel for the applicant Muhammad Azhar Siddique requested that record of the last five years about production, consumption, import and export of sugar should be summoned from the federal government, State Bank of Pakistan, Inland Board Wing and the competition commission.
He said that in 2009, artificial shortage of sugar was created in the country and the price of the commodity had gone up to Rs 50 per kg. He submitted that the sugar mafia would take advantage of the situation and export the imported sugar, and it would create acute shortage of sugar during the crushing season.
Earlier, the counsel had submitted that the Trade Commission of Pakistan (TCP) in its reply to his constitutional petition had already submitted that it was a business arm of the federal government under the Ministry of Commerce, and acted only on the direction of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet or the government for procuring any stocks to be deliver to the Utility Stores Corporation, CSDs, etc, at a subsidise price.
He submitted that it was also admitted before the court that the TCP in the past had purchased the commodity from sugar mills and international sources for supply to the USC and others. He said that now, 100,000 metric tonnes of sugar was available with them. He said that the representatives of sugar mills association, economic journalists and others had a detailed discussion on the purchase of sugar at Rs 63-65 per kg by the TCP from the open market, when the price of the sugar these days was Rs 53 per kg.
He alleged that this practice was being done to benefit political personalities and owners of sugar mills. The applicant submitted that by purchasing about 1,00,000MT sugar, the national exchequer would face a loss of Rs 2.5 billion and the public at large would be forced to purchase sugar at exaggerated price.
He requested the court that the TCP be restrained from floating sugar tenders at Rs 63-65 per kg on the decision of the ECC until the decision of the petition, in the interest of justice, fairplay and to save fundamental rights of the applicant and as well as the public at large.
Rape: Separately, the LHC on Friday took notice on a press report regarding assault on a 14-year-old girl after abduction.
The LHC directed to the district and sessions judge, Jhang, to look into the matter and submit a detailed report regarding steps taken by the police along with his own comments within a week. According to media reports, Muhammad Afzal submitted an application with the Shorkot police that his 14-year-old sister-in-law had come from Lahore. One day, accused Shahamand, Asif, Ajmal, Zulfiqar along with their three unidentified accomplices resorted to aerial firing and took the ill-fated girl from the street to a deserted place, where they raped her. The police lodged a case against the said accused and started investigations.
Bail: Meanwhile: Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan of the LHC extended the interim bail granted to former federal minister for overseas Pakistanis Ghulam Sarwar, who is accused of contesting elections on a university degree on the basis of a fake intermediate certificate.
The judge deferred the hearing on the bail application until March 10, as the counsel for the accused did not appear on Friday. Justice Ijazul Ahsan of the Lahore High Court on Friday issued a notice to the federal government, State Bank of Pakistan, Inland Revenue Wing of the Federal Board of Revenue and others on an application against the increase in the sugar price.
The judge sought replies on the petition until March 17. 
A lawyer, Ahmad Imran Ghazi, filed this application against the recent increase in sugar price in his already-pending petition against black marketing, profiteering and hoarding of sugar. 
Counsel for the applicant Muhammad Azhar Siddique requested that record of the last five years about production, consumption, import and export of sugar should be summoned from the federal government, State Bank of Pakistan, Inland Board Wing and the competition commission.
He said that in 2009, artificial shortage of sugar was created in the country and the price of the commodity had gone up to Rs 50 per kg. He submitted that the sugar mafia would take advantage of the situation and export the imported sugar, and it would create acute shortage of sugar during the crushing season.
Earlier, the counsel had submitted that the Trade Commission of Pakistan (TCP) in its reply to his constitutional petition had already submitted that it was a business arm of the federal government under the Ministry of Commerce, and acted only on the direction of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet or the government for procuring any stocks to be deliver to the Utility Stores Corporation, CSDs, etc, at a subsidise price.
He submitted that it was also admitted before the court that the TCP in the past had purchased the commodity from sugar mills and international sources for supply to the USC and others. He said that now, 100,000 metric tonnes of sugar was available with them. He said that the representatives of sugar mills association, economic journalists and others had a detailed discussion on the purchase of sugar at Rs 63-65 per kg by the TCP from the open market, when the price of the sugar these days was Rs 53 per kg.
He alleged that this practice was being done to benefit political personalities and owners of sugar mills. The applicant submitted that by purchasing about 1,00,000MT sugar, the national exchequer would face a loss of Rs 2.5 billion and the public at large would be forced to purchase sugar at exaggerated price.
He requested the court that the TCP be restrained from floating sugar tenders at Rs 63-65 per kg on the decision of the ECC until the decision of the petition, in the interest of justice, fairplay and to save fundamental rights of the applicant and as well as the public at large.
Rape: Separately, the LHC on Friday took notice on a press report regarding assault on a 14-year-old girl after abduction.
The LHC directed to the district and sessions judge, Jhang, to look into the matter and submit a detailed report regarding steps taken by the police along with his own comments within a week. According to media reports, Muhammad Afzal submitted an application with the Shorkot police that his 14-year-old sister-in-law had come from Lahore. One day, accused Shahamand, Asif, Ajmal, Zulfiqar along with their three unidentified accomplices resorted to aerial firing and took the ill-fated girl from the street to a deserted place, where they raped her. The police lodged a case against the said accused and started investigations.
Bail: Meanwhile: Justice Sardar Muhammad Shamim Khan of the LHC extended the interim bail granted to former federal minister for overseas Pakistanis Ghulam Sarwar, who is accused of contesting elections on a university degree on the basis of a fake intermediate certificate.
The judge deferred the hearing on the bail application until March 10, as the counsel for the accused did not appear on Friday.

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