Sugar Mills will not benefit from rise in sugar prices: Tareen

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Khan Tareen on Tuesday said neither he nor the sugar mills in the country would benefit from the government’s increased tax on sugar in the new budget.

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Addressing a press conference on the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Emergency Programme along with Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Mohammad Mehboob Sultan here at the federal capital, former PTI secretary general said, “the money from the rise in sugar prices will not go to me or to the sugar mills — it is going to the government.”

Any additional revenue for an increase in sugar prices was going to the government, not the private sector, Tareen said.

The government in its budget for 2019-20 increased the tax on sugar from 11 per cent to 17pc, saying the move would result in a mere increase of up to Rs3.5 per kilogram.

PTI leader and former finance minister Asad Umar, however, advised his party’s government against the increased tax on sugar and cooking oil in the federal budget. Umar had also called to investigate the sugar price hike.

Tareen, who was disqualified on December 15, 2017, for the misdeclaration under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution, said he do not hold a position, adding that the Supreme Court’s (SC) verdict regarding his disqualification had stated that he could not do so. PTI leader clarified that if he is called for advice, he would provide it, adding that Sahibzada Sultan had earlier told the press that he had invited Tareen himself.

Tareen said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had given him the responsibility for the agriculture emergency programme and he had also given the cabinet a briefing on the issue.

During the press conference, the PTI leaders shared information regarding the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Emergency Programme. According to Radio Pakistan, the government announced a Rs309 billion programme was the uplift of the agriculture sector. The leaders said that the four-year programme was prepared on the instructions of the premier and includes 13 projects in farming, fisheries and livestock, the report added.

The projects would be approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) in July and after two weeks “practical work” on the project would begin, the leaders added.

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