Sindh government fails to recover Rs87.504m from 19 sugar mills

KARACHI: Although there is a clash between the sugar mills’ mafia and the poor growers over the sugarcane rate, the Sindh government seems reluctant to recover at least Rs 87.504 million under the head of development cess from some 19 sugar mills in the province, Pakistan Today has learnt.

According to sources, there are some 35 sugar mills in the entire province out of which 17 are owned by the political leaders of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.

According to Rule 5 (I) of the Sugarcane (Development) Cess Rules of 1964, a sugar mill is to deposit sugarcane cess within five days of close of a fortnight. In case of default, the cane commissioner or any other authorised officer shall impose a penalty not exceeding the amount of cess.

However, in Sindh, the mills owned by certain politicians are allegedly exempted from all kinds of taxes and other recoveries, while the rest of mills also avoid paying the taxes and cess, sources told Pakistan Today.

According to sources, the agriculture department did not impose 100 per cent penalty of the development cess despite its late deposit. Due to the late deposit of cess amount and failure to recover the penalty, the Sindh government has sustained a loss of Rs 87.504 million.

The sugar mills who have failed to deposit the development cess included: Al Noor Sugar Mill at Shaheed Benazirabad district (Rs 11,341,087); Ansari Sugar Mill at Tando Muhammad Khan (Rs 6,248,394); Bawany Sugar Mill at Badin (Rs 397,915); Bandhi Sugar Mill at Shaheed Benazirabad (Rs 7,633,378); Chamber Sugar Mill at Tando Allahyar (Rs 4,330,913); Khoski Sugar Mill at Badin (Rs 3,398,993); Faran Sugar Mill at Tando Muhammad Khan (Rs 4,230,748); Habib Sugar Mill at Shaheed Benazirabad (Rs4,910,586); Larr Sugar Mill at Sujawal (Rs 3,000,524); Mehran Sugar Mill at Tando Allahyar (Rs 1,954,532); Mirpurkhas Sugar Mill at Mirpurkhas (Rs 3,854,534); Naudero Sugar Mill at Larkana (Rs 3,300,244); New Dadu Sugar Mill at Dadu (Rs 5,002,893); Shah Murad Sugar Mill at Sujawal (Rs 6,201,397); Sindh Abadgar Sugar Mill at Tando Muhammad Khan (Rs 4,368,012); Tando Allahyar Sugar Mill at Tando Allahyar (Rs 6,079,975); Kiran Sugar Mill at Sukkur (Rs 1,658,413); Sanghar Sugar Mill at Sanghar (Rs 5,487,404) and Tharparkar Sugar Mill at Mirpurkhas Rs 525,686.

The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Karachi Bureau.

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