The ‘fallen out of favour’ Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) stalwart, Jahangir Khan Tareen, returned to Pakistan on Friday after spending about seven months in the United Kingdom.
The sugar baron had left the country soon after the PTI-led government made its ‘much famed’ inquiry report on the country’s sugar crisis public. In its 32-page report, the committee on the sugar price hike had termed PTI government’s decision to allow export of sugar unjustified as it caused a 30% increase in its price.
The committee report had revealed that Tareen and PTI’s then Federal Minister for National Food Security Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar were among the main beneficiaries.
According to the report, both stalwarts of the PTI went away with Rs1.03 billion subsidy on the export of sugar, paid out from the taxpayers’ money, which was equal to 41% of the total subsidy the government of Punjab paid to sugar barons.
Nothing to hide
Speaking to the media on his return, the former PTI secretary general claimed that he had gone abroad for medical treatment. “Have been going abroad to seek medical treatment for the past seven years,” he said.
Tareen added that it was the opposition’s job to say all sorts of things, and that he does not deem it important to address their blames. “Thank God that all my business dealings are transparent,” the business magnate stated.
The erstwhile PTI stalwart also tweeted regarding the issues, stating that his company, the JDW group, “is not a part of the petition against the GOPb notification to start sugar Mills on 10th Nov”.
Let me state for the record that JDW is NOT part of the petition against GOPb notification to start sugar Mills on 10th Nov. All of my mills, including those in Sind will start crushing on 10th. Will play my part in helping the Govt overcome the sugar shortage and price hike
— Jahangir Khan Tareen (@JahangirKTareen) November 6, 2020
He added that all his mills, including the ones in Sindh, will start crushing on Nov 10.
On October 23, as per a report published in The Express Tribune, an official inquiry report had revealed that the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association – the representative body of the sugar barons, is prima facie a “cartel” that manipulated the recent price hike with active coordination of a senior officer of JDW Sugar Mills Group, owned by Jahangir Khan Tareen.
The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) – the entity responsible for ensuring fair play in the market, concluded a 10-month long inquiry and unearthed that the PSMA was indulged in illegal activities, according to a briefing by the CCP and its official inquiry report.
The findings also showed that the millers managed a decision to influence the PTI government to allow export of 1.1 million tons of sugar, that also caused a 48% increase in its prices.