Saturday Apr 04, 2020
ISLAMABAD: A report by the Federal Investigation Agency claims that top PTI members were among those who gained from the recent sugar crisis in the country.
An investigation into the crisis had been ordered by Prime Minister Imran Khan in February.
Among the people named in the FIA report are Jahangir Tareen and a brother of Minister for National Food Security Khusro Bakhtiar.
Tareen was said by the report to have benefitted the most from the sugar crisis followed by Bakhtiar's brother.
The report also claims that the companies belonging to Moonis Elahi — an ally of the party — profited from the sugar crisis. Elahi is Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi's son and a key member of the PML-Q.
The document does not mention under whose influence Punjab government issued subsidies to sugar mills or why the Economic Coordination Council (ECC) approved the decision to export sugar.
Reacting to the report, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said he has faith that whatever the situation, Prime Minister Imran Khan "will ensure justice".
Tareen, PTI's former general secretary, said that out of the Rs3bn subsidy to the sugar mills, Rs2.5bn were given when the PML-N was in power.
The prime minister was also sent the investigation report on the wheat crisis, compiled by a three-member bench headed by Wajid Zia. As per the report, the crisis originated due to poor planning by the centre and provincial governments.
The report states that the Punjab Food Department was unable to control flour mills and started collecting wheat after a delay of 20-22 days.
It further mentioned that the food department failed to come up with a process for the demand and supply of the product. The report claimed that did not take decisions as the situation evolved.
Former food secretary Naseem Sadiq and ex-food director Zafar Iqbal have been blamed in the report for failing to handle the wheat crisis. Furthermore, the report claims that Punjab food minister Samiullah Chaudhry did not take the measures necessitated by the situation.
"No single individual can be held responsible for procuring indequate wheat from Sindh," adds the report.
The report said that the Sindh government did not take any decision on the summary for wheat procurement. It said that the responsibility of buying wheat in low stock cannot be placed on any single person.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Food Secretary Akbar Khan and Food Director Sadaat Khan have also been held responsible for not procuring wheat in accordance with the government's target.