More than 50 percent sugar mills in Pak owned by politicians

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Islamabad, Aug.23 (ANI): More than 50 percent of sugar mills in Pakistan are owned by political leaders, and despite this fact, sugar prices in the country have sky rocketed in the recent past, increasing problems for the people, especially in the month of Ramazan.

According to sources, there are 78 sugar mills in the country and the political leaders or their relatives or partners own more than 50 per cent of these factories.

Insiders said that there are at least six mills owned by President Asif Ali Zardari's family members and other PPP leaders.

They also revealed that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's family members own nine sugar factories situated in different part of the country, most of them in Punjab province.

While the government has claimed that it would look that the sugar prices in the country do not exceed a limit, people believe it is difficult to bring down the prices and they would continue to suffer.

"When the government says that it will catch the culprits and provide sugar to the masses on affordable rates, it is like throwing dust in the eyes of masses", The Nation quoted one Islamabad resident, as saying on conditions of anonymity.

"After all who were the ultimate beneficiaries of the meetings held between sugar mills owners and the government?" he asked.

The prime reason behind the sudden steep rise in the price of one of the most important daily commodity is a calculated strategy chalked out by major players of the sugar industry with help from important government personalities.

According to sources, the sugar mafia in the country has undermined orders from the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) and has manipulated decision-making at the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to achieve the mischievous target of increasing the sugar prices.

The command with which this mafia works can be gauged from the fact that ECC's order to release sugar at a controlled price of 38 rupees per kilogram through ration stores and utility shops is yet to be implemented and people have no choice but to shell out 55 to 60 rupees for a kilogram of sugar.

This is not the first time that sugar prices have reached sky high in Pakistan. During former President General Pervez Musharraf's regime sugar prices had touched the then peak of 35 rupees per kilogram. probe was ordered against the political big wigs close to the Musharraf government at that time. However, charges were dropped later on Musharraf's personal request.

Observers believe that the current scam would also subside with time forcing Pakistanis to spend much more on sugar this Ramzan. (ANI)

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