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SC rejects federal govt report on sugar price fixation

30 October, 2009

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ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court (SC) has rejected the report presented by the federal government about fixation of sugar price and has sought again final report today.

A 3-member SC bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, justice Jawwad S Khawaja and justice Ghulam Rabbani resumed the hearing of the case Thursday.

Presenting the report about uniform rate of sugar, acting Attorney General (AG) Shah Khawar took the plea that commission had made it clear the cost of sugar production ranged between Rs 36 to Rs 46 per kilogram. Government has to provide subsidy for sale of sugar at cheaper rates, he added. Government was fully complying with the SC orders, he informed.

CJP expressing displeasure rejected the report and remarked SC had not issued any directives in any of its verdict to allow subsidy on the matter of sale of sugar at lower rates. An impartial report be worked out", he further remarked.

Justice Ghulam Rabbani observed sugar mills were willing to bring sugar at the rate of Rs 36 per kilogram in the market then as to why sugar is being sold to consumers at the rate more than Rs 40 per kilogram.

CJP while addressing the acting AG observed this impression was wrong SC had directed government to provide subsidy in the prices of sugar. The court’s orders be not ignored, he further observed. Chairman Sugar Mills Association Sikandar Khan had taken the plea in the court sugar stock to meet the requirements upto December 31 was available. No one can violate court’s orders. People are suffering heavily . A final report be evolved and presented in the court in this respect, he directed.

Shahid Karim advocate on behalf of sugar mills association argued courts could not interfere in policy matters. This was domain of the government only, he added.

CJP while addressing acting AG remarked " you had given statement during the previous hearing national exchequer was overburdened due to IDPs issue. Then these matters be resolved in proper way. We don’t want to give any decision in haste. Too much time has been allowed to you.".

Shah Khawar advocate informed the court a high level meeting of all the four chief ministers was to be held on October, 28in prime minister house but it could not take place due to some unavoidable circumstances.

This matter should be settled as soon as possible. The precious time of court be not wasted. The consumer is the most important stakeholder in this matter. As to why he is not included in the meeting, CJP questioned.

Finance secretary Suleman Siddique took the plea he be allowed some time and he would submit such a formula which would not be objected by any one.

The court agreeing to this plea adjourned the hearing till today.


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