First reference on sugar scandal referred to NAB: Shahzad Akbar

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First reference on sugar scandal referred to NAB: Shahzad Akbar

ISLAMABAD-:Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar on Wednesday said the first reference related to the sugar scandal had been referred to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for taking further action against the accused.

                 

   Addressing a press conference, he said an action plan had been prepared in the light of the Sugar Inquiry Commission's recommendations and the departments concerned had been asked to take action against those involved in the sugar scandal.

He said it was observed that the Rs 29 billion subsidy on sugar during years from 2014-19 was given against the law and without any solid reason.

He said the commission had prepared a comprehensive 16-page plan of action with inclusion of sentences under penal law, action from every department concerned both federal and provincial level, and nomination of persons involved in the sugar scam.

The action plan would be forwarded to all the departments concerned for taking an appropriate action, he added.

The SAPM said Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Federal Cabinet had approved the recommendations of Sugar Inquiry Commission. It was for the first time that the government had also tested the transparency in Rs 2.4 billion subsidy on sugar given during its own tenure.

He said there were crucial roles of some other departments, including the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for recovery of sales tax and income tax amount of that period and the Security and Exchange Commission (SECP) for black-listing all those independent auditors, besides the provincial departments.

Shahzad Akbar said a committee had been constituted under the chairmanship of Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar to fix the sugar price while the commission had already determined the cost of its production.

       He said despite receiving threats from the strong sugar mafia, the commission had completed its task with full sincerity to investigate and fix responsibilities for the shortage and price hike of the commodity in the country in recent times.

        The SAPM said total Rs 29 billion subsidy was given to the sugar industry in the last five years and the report of the Inquiry Commission has revealed many things, including the tax evasion.