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Thread: SC keeps sugar price unchanged at Rs40

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    SC keeps sugar price unchanged at Rs40

    The Supreme Court declined on Thursday to suspend orders of the Lahore High Court fixing the price of sugar at Rs40 per kg, observing that mill owners can still go on with sugarcane crushing in accordance with their schedule.

    An SC bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and Justice Shakirullah Jan directed Attorney General Latif Khosa to submit additional documents before the next hearing of identical petitions filed by sugar mills against the LHC order. The court will now hear the case on Oct 1.

    The court admitted for regular hearing another petition jointly filed by the federal and provincial governments.

    The National Accountability Bureau, in a report submitted in response to a previous order of the court, revealed that top politicians, including President Asif Ali Zardari, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Nasrullah Dareshak, Jehangir Tareen, Humayun Akhtar Khan, Anwar Cheema, former governor of Punjab Mian Mohammad Azhar, Mian Altaf Saleem, and Haroon Akhtar were among those responsible for the 2006 sugar crisis.

    According to the report, the sugar industry is predominantly owned by these politicians, some of whom despite being in the government acted contrary to the law and held back sugar stocks. ‘This was tantamount to hoarding,’ the report said.

    In his written submission, the NAB chairman said the preliminary fact-finding report was finalised by a wing of the bureau on Feb 17, 2006.

    The report, outlining factors contributing to price hike and recommendations to curb it, was submitted before the Supreme Court in a suo motu case. Then chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar disposed of the case on Jan 24 last year.

    The NAB chief said while the preliminary inquiry was in progress, a lot of hue and cry was raised by various quarters, giving an impression as if the inquiry was aggravating the crisis.

    Such impressions, although totally misplaced, could have caused further hardships for consumers and the NAB had no intention of causing instability in the market, he added.

    No formal inquiry was conducted by the NAB, he clarified. The report said mill owners in Punjab increased the ex-factory price from Rs21 per kg to Rs27 unilaterally.

    The federal government, instead of intervening in a proactive manner, pursued a soft policy and allowed duty-free import of raw sugar at $200 per ton.

    The Trading Corporation of Pakistan and the mills imported raw sugar and the price fell to Rs26 per kg.

    The government also allowed duty-free import of refined sugar, but fixed the price at Rs26 per kg.

    In its reply submitted before the apex court, the Punjab government said that the TCP’s failure to take timely steps for the import of sugar led to the recent crisis.

    It said that during the first eight months of 2009, sugar dealers sold out 63 per cent of their stocks and hoarded the rest to earn more profits before the start of crushing season.

    A report submitted by the State Bank of Pakistan, in compliance with the court orders, said that banks had provided loans of Rs34 billion to sugar mills in January this year and another Rs21 billion was in the pipeline.

    Advocate Shafqat Cheema, who assisted the court in public interest, requested the SC to bring the hoarders to book.

    The petitions against the LHC verdict were filed by the Punjab Sugar Dealers Association, Pakistan Sugar Mills Association, Macca Sugar Mills, Sheikhoo Sugar Mills and Abdul Quddus Malik, making the federal government as respondents.

    On Sept 18, the federal and four provincial governments had filed a joint petition requesting the apex court to stay the LHC order till a final decision on the petition of Sugar Mills Association.

    By: Dawn News


  2. Re: SC keeps sugar price unchanged at Rs40

    Well great SC keeps sugar price unchanged at Rs40 but my question to chief justice sahib that who is going to implement your order.even in your city ISLAMABAD sugar is selling at rs 50 to 55

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