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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Pakistan Farmers Union appreciate fine of Rs 44bn on “sugar mafia”

CCP's decision to impose a fine worth Rs 44 billion on PSMA has made farmers of Pakistan happy. According to the farmers, the "sugar-mafia" is finally being held accountable for its corrupt practices.

On Friday, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) slapped a fine worth Rs 44 billion on Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) for violating the Competition Act 2010. Farmers’ organizations of Pakistan lauded the CCP for its decision.

At a press conference, Pakistan Farmers Union President, Khalid Khokhar expressed that all farmers are happy with the decision.

Khalid Khokhar said that the government should make sure that the Rs 44 billion fine is paid. He also said the government should then distribute the money among the farmers.

Read more: Farmers benefit from locally produced 60pc cheaper urea

According to Farmers’ leaders, the sugar mafia looted the farmers by not paying them their due rates. As a result, the farmers faced economic difficulties.

However, with CCP’s decision, farmers are of the opinion that they will receive justice.

CCP imposes fine on PSMA

Competition Commission of Pakistan issued its highest penalty issued to the PSMA. CCP took the decision against the PSMA over a violation of the Competition Act 2010 for fixing the sugar price.

Last year, sugar prices sky-rocketed in Pakistan leading to a sugar crisis. Upon investigation, the CCP found that sugar mills, under the PSMA, obtained the quota of utility stores and imported sugar through a nexus.

Many sugar mill owners received telegraphic transfers for payments for sugar sold to Afghanistan from the United States and the United Arab Emirates.

Moreover, the report by CCP investigation explained how the sugar mills fixed the price of sugar, and how they faked their sales tax on exports of the commodity.

Read more: Punjab govt launches crackdown against sugar mafia

Therefore, the CCP directed the PSMA and sugar mills to stop the violations and deposit the penalty within 60 days.

While CCP imposes its fine on PSMA, the latter released a press statement saying that CCP decision was not a final order. The PSMA also alleged that CCP “distorted the facts” in its report presented to PM Khan and the federal government.