Sugar Mills Completely Reject FIA’s Report on Sugar Crisis

In a letter written to the Director General of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA) has rejected the findings of an inquiry committee’s probe into the sugar crisis in the country.

It has termed it “one-sided”.

The Secretary-General PSMA Anayat Khan has strongly responded to Wajid Zia, Director-General of FIA Headquarters.

It is to be noted that the investigation was led by the agency’s chief himself.

The association has termed the report as flawed, misconceived and based on presumptions, with no justification of conducting forensic audits of sugar mills, according to the 45-page letter.

The letter stated that “The members of the PSMA are shocked and dismayed by the surprise issuance of the Report of the Inquiry Committee (“the Committee”) constituted by the prime minister of Pakistan regarding increase in sugar prices, which is self-contradictory.”

The body stated that the allegations leveled against the sugar mill owners were false and that the investigative agency had not included their view in the report following a probe into the recent sugar crisis. “Should justice not be provided, the body will approach the courts,” it warned.

“No plausible reason or justification whatsoever has been provided in the report in respect of conducting forensic audits of the respective sugar mills, which is strongly objected. It is tantamount to merely shooting in the dark and an afterthought to embark upon a fishing expedition and damage the reputation of the sugar mills,” it said.

The PSMA stated that the Committee was formed only of criminal investigation officers from the FIA, the Intelligence Bureau and the ACE to conduct what was, in essence, an inquiry into economic and commercial matters, i.e. reasons for price increase of sugar and justification/necessity for export and subsidy.

“All the data referred and reproduced in the report was publicly known and/or easily available (as acknowledged by the Committee itself) and in fact supports the stance of the PSMA and the sugar mills.”

“Unfortunately, the committee lacked the requisite experience and expertise for investigating trade of commodities which led to grossly wrong conclusions on calculations of ex-mills price, reasons for the increase in price, role, and effect of export and subsidies, etc.”

PSMA added that “It would have been more appropriate, and certainly fairer, had competent professionals with backgrounds in commerce and economics and a firm understanding of commodity and export markets been associated with the inquiry and the PSMA, and the sugar mills had been given an opportunity to address the concerns/queries/confusions of the Committee prior to issuance of the report.”

“It would urge that the said mistakes not be repeated again with the new sugar inquiry commission (which also, so far, lacks any representation),” concluded the letter.

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