On Sunday, the Prime Minister approved a large number of investigations to be carried out through accountability organizations against the “sugar cartel”, who have allegedly been scamming the country out of multiple billions of rupees over the course of the previous 25 years.
The government has stated that it will take on all similar mafias one by one, and no exceptions will be made. However, opposition parties feel that these are empty words as Jahangir Tareen, a key figure in PTI and owner of sugar mills was allowed to leave the country.
The cartel had allegedly been involved in causing an artificial shortage, and hiking prices of sugar across the country. In addition, they will also be investigated for tax evasion, collusion and undue exports of subsidies.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan in a meeting today approved investigation against the sugar mafia that benefited during the last 25 years in the country,” said the PM’s special aide on accountability, whilst adding that the premier believed that anyone involved, regardless of political links, should be punished. Approximately 88 mills are due to be investigated.
These findings have come to light due to an investigation by the Sugar Forensic Commission (SFC). On its recommendation, the premier is also considering an overhaul of the regulatory framework – which would use technology and barcodes on bags to ensure something like this does not happen again.
The report focused on how owners had made astronomical profits throughout the years, as well as the links to political figures that had helped them circumvent laws. The government states that even though many people thought the sugar barons would go free due to their political links, the first and foremost priority of the current government is accountability.