ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar on Saturday claimed that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), after a five-year audit, imposed a tax to the tune of Rs588 billion on 69 sugar mills.
Talking to journalists in Islamabad, the PM’s aide asserted that as a result of the audit, the revenue from sugar mills was doubled in the previous fiscal year. “The government also imposed Rs44 billion in fines for cartelisation by the mills,” he added.
However, he said, at least 10 mills however approached the high courts to get a stay order. “In order to curb tax evasion and regulate the production of sugar, the government will install track and trace systems in the mills before the next crushing season,” he added.
Talking about last year’s fuel crisis, Akbar said that an inquiry was also conducted into the shortage of petroleum products and a fine was imposed on oil marketing companies involved in the shortage of petroleum products.
He further informed that 2,000 illegal petrol stations have been shut down across the country, which has boosted the sales at gas stations owned by Pakistan State Oil (PSO).
The government has launched a crackdown on sugar mills over the price of the commodity. A day earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered action against millers and hoarders over the hike in the price of sugar.
Chairing a review meeting on the selling price and hoarding of sugar, PM Imran ordered ensuring the implementation of the track and trace system of mills to ascertain the production volume of the commodity.
As of Friday, the Punjab government was also on the move against the mills. Cases were filed against the owners and management of three mills – Chanar Sugar Mills Faisalabad, Shakar Ganj Sugar Mills Jhang and Pasrur Sugar Mills Gujranwala.
Chanar Sugar Mills owner Javed Kayani, Shakar Ganj Sugar Mills owner Pervez Ahmed and two general managers had been arrested while police were conducting raids to nab the owner of Pasrur Sugar Mills.
“Nobody would be allowed to sell sugar higher than the ex-mill rate of Rs84.75 per kg and retail price of Rs89.75 per kg,” Punjab’s chief secretary had said in connection to the cases.