Two stay orders passed in favour of sugar millers gave freehand to hoarders, CM Naqvi told n Food Secretary says nexus among mills owners, hoarders, speculators manipulating prices in market n Report presented to CM claims all cases of Sugar Mills Association being heard by a particular judge.
LAHORE - Several days after the sugar mafia’s loot and plunder, the Punjab government sprang into action on Tuesday and decided to file an appeal in the Lahore High Court for vacation of two stay orders passed in favour of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association last month.
In its judgement passed on August 7, the Lahore High Court had stopped Cane Commissioner Punjab from fixing the sugar price till September 5. Justice Anwaar Hussain passed the interim order on petitions filed by the sugar mills owners.
It may be recalled here that the Caretaker Punjab government had on July 28, 2023 authorised the Cane Commissioner to fix the price of sugar and regulate storage of the commodity by checking its stock on regular basis. But the the Cane Commissioner had also been directed by the government to exercise this power after giving the representative body of sugar factories an opportunity of being heard.
The decision to file an appeal against the LHC orders was taken in a meeting chaired by Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi who was told that LHC had issued two stay orders preventing the Punjab government from the acquisition of sugar mills’ records and fixation of sugar price.
Food Secretary further told the meeting that owing to these stay orders, sugar hoarders were enjoying a free hand leading to substantial increase in sugar prices. He explained that Punjab government could not fix the price of sugar after being denied access to the mill’s record and available stocks of the commodity.
The meeting decided to promptly file an appeal to have the stay orders vacated. The chief minister directed the Advocate General of Punjab to initiate this appeal urgently. He stressed the need for filing of an immediate appeal to stabilise the sugar price, according to an official handout. Sources privy to the meeting said that the briefing given by the Food Secretary also highlighted a nexus among the sugar mill owners, hoarders and speculators who were manipulating the sugar price in their favor. A report presented to the chief minister also alleged that all such cases of Sugar Mills Association were being heard by a particular judge who would give relief to the millers every time the issue of sugar price came up for adjudication.