–Shah says federal govt dragging CM Murad’s name into sugar probe to divert attention
KARACHI: Sindh Minister for Information Syed Nasir Hussain Shah on Saturday said Prime Minister Imran Khan gave permission for the sugar export that eventually led to a shortage of commodity in the country and a subsequent price hike.
The provincial minister said that it was surprising that the price of the sugar was about Rs 50-53 when the opposition was in power, but when the ‘self-righteous’ Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) assumed charge, the price skyrocketed to Rs80-83.
He said the sugar probe commission set up by Imran stated that the permission to export sugar was given by the PM himself. “People should know that their Prime Minister Imran Khan was also carrying the portfolio of the commerce minister, as Abdul Razak Dawood was merely a special assistant to the prime minister,” he added.
He said that the sugar probe commission exposed the PTI.
The provincial information minister said that the sole purpose of summoning Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and include him in the probe was to divert public attention. Speaking about the subsidy given to the Omni Group by the Sindh government, Shah said the Omni Group was given subsidy on sugar in 2017, adding that the time period was beyond the purview of the probe commission.
The provincial minister said the Omni Group received only 15 per cent of subsidy, the rest was given to other sugar mills, including that of PTI leader Jahangir Tareen. Shah said that if Omni Group’s seven or eight sugar mills had been given the subsidy on sugar at around 15 per cent, then only one or two of mills of Jahangir Tareen got 13 per cent subsidy.
The provincial minister said that apart from this, the sugar mills of PTI minister Khusro Bakhtiar former PPP leader Zulfiqar Mirza also got the subsidy. “We have given the subsidy on sugar across the board,” he said, adding that the sole purpose of the subsidy was to benefit the farmers.
He clarified that there was a big difference between the sugar subsidy given by the Sindh government and the current government. He said that when the Sindh government had subsidized sugar, there was an abundance of the commodity in the country.
Referring to easing the lockdown, Shah said that whatever the federal government decided in this regard after May 31, the Sindh government would follow the lead.