Tuesday Feb 11, 2020
LAHORE: PML-N lawmaker Khawaja Asif said Tuesday the incumbent PTI government has turned Pakistan into a refuge for the wheat and sugar mafias.
Addressing the National Assembly, Asif said those who gained the most from ongoing the sugar crisis were the current government's patrons. They were also known as the architects of Prime Minister Imran Khan's administration, he added.
The former foreign minister said the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in its report on the wheat and sugar crises had named the people responsible for the grains shortage. Inflation and taxes had risen manifold in the current era, he added.
The PML-N's supporters and workers protested against the skyrocketing inflation outside the Parliament, demanding that the investigative report on rising prices be made public.
Asif on Thursday said that 45% of sugar mill owners are from the PTI, urging the government to expose the perpetrators of the sugar crisis.
"Every day, the price of sugar is increasing by up to Rs5-6," he said. "The prime minister has admitted that 'I am surrounded by mafias'."
The PML-N called on the government to expose the mafia that was "playing with people's hunger" and making money from the sugar and wheat crisis.
"The [sugar mills] of Zardari, Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif have closed down," he said, saying that 45% of sugar producers belonged to the PTI.
Asif called on the speaker to empower the National Assembly and make committees to get to the bottom of the sugar crisis. He said that if this issue was not resolved, then the government and politicians will both be held responsible for it.
During the incumbent government's 15 months, sugar prices have shot up to as high as Rs64 a kilo. However, during the last month, the wholesale rate of sugar rose from Rs64 to Rs74 per kg and an acute shortage of the product surfaced in the country.