KARACHI - Sindh Minister for Information, Local Government, Housing &Town Planning, Religious Affairs, Forest and Wildlife Syed Nasir Hussain Shah has said again on Saturday that the purpose of the sugar probe commission set up by the Prime Minister Imran Khan is to find out how the price of sugar went up.

The provincial Information Minister said that it was surprising that the price of the sugar was around Rs. 50 to Rs. 53 in the time of the people labelled constantly by the leaders of PTI as thieves and looters, while in the time of these angels the price went up as much as Rs. 80 up to Rs. 83. He said that the sugar probe commission headed by Mr. Wajid Zia had exposed the angels.

Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that according to the report of sugar probe commission, one of the major factors in sudden increase of the price of sugar was to allow its export. He said that about one million tonnes of sugar was allowed to be exported, which gave rise to the price of the sugar in the country.

The provincial minister said that the report of the same sugar probe commission stated that the permission to export sugar was given by the Prime Minister himself, adding that, he was signatory to this permission.

Explaining further, the provincial Information Minister said that people should know that their Prime Minister Imran Khan was also having the portfolio of in-charge Commerce Minister. He said that Abdul Razzaq Dawood was merely the special assistant to the Prime Minister.

Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that sugar was exported with the permission of the Prime Minister after which there was a shortage of sugar in the country and as a result the price of sugar increased. He said that the sole purpose of summoning Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and to include him in the probe was to divert public attention. He said that it had always been the practice of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders to try to divert attention by blaming others whenever they had been asked to clear their position.

Shah clarified that Omni Group was given subsidy on sugar in the year 2017, adding that, this was the year which was not included in the terms of references of sugar probe commission. The provincial minister said that if the Omni Group had been given a subsidy on sugar, it had been given only 15 per cent, while the rest was given to other sugar mills, including that of Jahangir Tareen.

He said that whenever the Sindh government had given the subsidy on sugar, its sole purpose was to benefit the farmers. 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 percent subsidy.

The provincial minister said that apart from this, the sugar mills of Khusro Bakhtiar and those of our biggest opponent of that time, Dr. Zulfiqar Mirza, were also given subsidy. “We have given the subsidy on sugar across the board and not to a single group or person,” he said.

Shah said that the Omni Group, which was being constantly mentioned again and again was only given15 percent of the subsidy.

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 subsidized sugar, there was an abundance of sugar and it was given to benefit the farmers.

Referring to easing the lockdown, Shah said that whatever the federal government decided in this regard after May 31, the Sindh government would go with them.

He said that the Supreme Court had already ruled in this regard and a uniform policy should be formulated on the issue of coronavirus. He said that the situation in the country was not very good with regard to the spread of coronavirus, but whatever decision would be taken by the federal government the Sindh government would follow it.