TCP blacklists nine sugar mills

Mills had failed to provide required quantities of commodity


Our Correspondent March 27, 2021
PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD:

The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has blacklisted nine sugar mills which have defaulted on their obligation to pay Rs10billion to the trading authority.

The blacklisted companies include Abdullah Sugar Mills Depalpur, Abdullah Sugar Mills, Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills, Seri Sugar Mills, TMK Sugar Mills, Tandlianwala Sugar Mills, Abdullah Shah Ghazi Sugar Mills, Haq Bahu Sugar Mills and Macca Sugar Mills.

According to the TCP, the sugar mills failed to provide the commodity to the authority in the required quantities. These companies will not be able to take part in any TCP tender now.

The TCP is a state-owned commodity trading company, mainly responsible for export and import of commodities. It also issues tenders for export and import of agricultural products. The TCP has its offices across various cities of the country including Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore and Multan.

The PTI led federal government last month decided to recover Rs386 billion from sugar mills, responsible for an acute shortage of the commodity last year.

According to sources, Prime Minister Imran Khan in a recent cabinet meeting asked Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar to brief the cabinet about the actions taken so far on the report of a sugar commission that probed into the crisis.

The commission – led by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) – had accused sugar mill owners of earning illegal profits worth billions of rupees through unjustified price hikes, benami transactions, tax evasion, misuse of subsidy and purchasing sugarcane off the books.

The commission had also pointed out that the country’s top politicians – including PML-N’s Shehbaz Sharif, PTI’s Jahangir Tareen and Khusro Bakhtiar, PML-Q’s Moonis Elahi and PPP’s Asif Ali Zardari – were also among the beneficiaries of the crisis.

The adviser had informed the meeting that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had declared that the sugar mills were liable to pay Rs386 billion. This amount, he said, included Rs29 billion on accounts of taxes and Rs22 billion imposed as fines for starting legal cases against the commission and its report.

“The notices have been sent for recovery of the amount and cases have been referred to and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which has initiated relevant inquiries,” Akbar had said.

The government had directed the FBR to undertake a comprehensive audit of all sugar mills in the country in light of findings of the commission to unearth every instance of concealment and tax-fraud as well as the benami transactions in accordance with the law.

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