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  • Mar 14th, 2006
  • Comments Off on ‘Sugar scandal’ probe shelved by NAB
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which started probe into the 'sugar scandal' with enthusiasm a few days back, has shelved the file after receiving directive from the highest office, hoping that now the sugar prices would certainly come down.

"A preliminary investigation was in progress. A lot of hue and cry was raised by various quarters, giving an impression that the NAB inquiry was contributory to further escalation in sugar prices," the Bureau said in a press release here on Monday.

The Bureau's 3-4 members team questioned the officials of Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (Minfal) and Commerce Ministry with the aim of fixing responsibility either on the concerned government department or the private sector, including the millers.

A couple of days ago, the Bureau had also briefed 'like-minded' journalists on the issue and held the millers responsible for persistent sugar crisis, saying that the millers did not release sugar in accordance with the sugarcane price at which they procured from the farmers.

A delegation of Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA), headed by Zaka Ashraf, held a meeting at Presidency with Chairman NAB and Prime Minister's Advisor on Finance, Dr Sulman Shah to clarify their position and what they communicated to the government before the crisis started.

However, PSMA demanded that the inquiry launched by the NAB should be stopped as it was sending wrong signals to the market.

NAB, in its press release said that the impression that inquiry could contribute to further escalation of sugar prices, though totally misplaced, could have caused further hardships for the consumers.

NAB is of the view that it does not want to create instability in the sugar market, which could bring hardships for the consumers.

"NAB has no intention of causing instability in the market. Therefore, for the wider good and to restore confidence in the market at this time the inquiry is being closed," the press release concluded.

It was being predicted by certain circles prior to the start of the inquiry that it would be merely an eyewash and nothing would come out of it as far as sugar crisis was concerned.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2006

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