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Advance payments to sugar mills scam sent to NAB, PAC told

Advance payments to sugar mills scam sent to NAB, PAC told

ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Commerce Wednesday informed Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that matter related to the advance payment of Rs 1.158 billion to six sugar mills had been sent to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for inquiry.

The ministry revealed in the meeting that bank guaranteed for the only ten percent of the total amount was taken from these sugar mills.

The recoverable amount had reached to Rs 2.051 billion by adding markup and interests. Ministry said the advance payments were made to six sugar mills—Abdullah Sugar Mills (Depalpur), Abdullah Sugar Mill, Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills, TMK Sugar Mills, Seri Sugar Mills and Tandlianwala Sugar Mills—for purchase of sugar in 2008 and 2009.  However, Sugar Mills defaulted in delivery of the contracted quantity of sugar, on that TCP filed a case in Sindh High Court for the recovery.

The PAC met here under the chairmanship of Syed Khursheed Shah and attended by other members including Syed Naveed Qamar, Raja Javed Ikhlas, Shafqat Mehmood, Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Sardar Ashiq Hussain Gopang, Molana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Mushahid Hussain Syed Jafar Leghari and Mian Abdul Manan.

Secretary Ministry of Commerce Younis Dhaga briefed the body regarding the recovery of amount from the above sugar mills.  He said the contracts were granted to the sugar mills under a terms of references given by the then ECC.

On which, the PAC sought details from the NAB regarding the inquiry of above scam. Chairman Trade Corporation Pakistan (TCP) Sheikh Mushtaq informed the committee that an amount of Rs 21,730 millon and Rs 23,788.605 million have been remitted to TCP from Utility Stores Corporation and National Fertilizer marketing Limited respectively in line of supply of sugar, wheat and urea.

The management explained that since 2013, out of Rs. 50.669 billion Rs. 45.518 billion had been recovered from various organizations.

Discussing the sugar export, the PAC directed the ministry to submit export policy and a last three year details of sugar export with the committee on next meeting.

Secretary Commerce Ministry further informed the committee that export quota to the sugar mills was use to grant under ‘first come first pick’ policy. Meanwhile, the PAC express concern over absence of Secretary Cabinet Division in discussion of their relevant paras.

Additional Secretary of the division, Syed Sohail Altaf wanted to brief the body but Chairman Syed Khursheed Shah stopped him and directed to pend the agenda until next meeting.