PML-N questions USC plan to buy sugar from Tareen

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ISLAMABAD: PML-N legislators on Wednesday expressed their reservations over the Utility Stores Corporation’s (USC) announcement that it would purchase 20,000 tonnes from PTI stalwart Jahangir Tareen.

Speaking during the Question Hour in the National Assembly, PML-N MNA Shaza Fatima Khawaja sought an explanation as to why the USC had decided to purchase sugar from the PTI leader.

“Sugar is being purchased from the person who was responsible for creating its crisis in the country,” she alleged.

Parliamentary Secretary for Commerce Aliya Hamza Malik responded that Tareen was facing criticism despite the fact that he was ready to incur a loss by offering sugar at a less rate — Rs67 per kg.

A day earlier, the USC chairman had announced that 20,000 tonnes would be purchased from sugar mills owned by the PTI leader. He added that these mills would provide the sweetener at a rate of Rs67 per kg while others were selling it for Rs70 per kg. He further noted that the market rate of sugar was Rs81 per kg.

The parliamentary secretary for commerce maintained that the opposition was pointing fingers at the ruling party even though its own members were involved in sugar hoarding.

“Why were 100,000 sacks of sugar found at [PPP leader] Manzoor Wassan’s mill? Why were 25,000 sacks of sugar found at Chaudhry Sugar Mills [owned by the Sharif family]?” she added.

Aliya pointed out that inflation had decreased by 3% this month and flour was available at a rate of Rs800 per 20kg bag.

“Sugar has been purchased through an open tender,” she added.

PML-N MNA Murtaza Javed Abbasi claimed that the plan to buy sugar from Tareen meant that 20,000 tonnes of sugar had been hoarded.

He demanded the formation of a parliamentary committee to probe into the matter.

During the Question Hour, the railway’s ministry presented the statistics of train accidents from August 2018 to December 2019.

According to the ministry, 110 people died and 123 others were injured in major train accidents during this period.

They caused a loss of Rs410 million to the railways.

Speaking in the house, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid said the Supreme Court had ordered making the Karachi Circular Railway functional no matter what. “Out share in the Karachi Urban Transport Corporation is 60% and the provincial government has the remaining share,” he added.

“We have asked the Sindh chief minister to formulate the entire plan. The court has directed the provincial government to construct the infrastructure i.e. bridges and underpasses needed for the project and told us to run the trains.”

Later, the industries and production ministry presented the figures for the reduction in car sales.

According to the ministry, 297,814 cars were sold in the fiscal year 2018-19 against 339,772 cars in 2017-18.

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