LAHORE: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill on Sunday pledged that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government would never compromise on national and economic interests of the country.
Addressing a press conference here, he said the entire world was facing the inflation problem, especially the middle class was bearing the brunt of it across the globe.
He said that six million tonnes of sugar was the annual requirement of the country, adding that last year the country’s sugar production was less than its domestic requirement. He said that with the grace of Allah, this year the country would have a bumper crop of sugarcane and about 7 to 7.2 million tonnes of sugar would be produced.
Shahbaz Gill said that mills in Sindh start sugarcane crushing in October, adding that in view of a bumper crop, the mills should start working early to complete sugarcane crushing till February-March 2022. He said that three sugar mills had started their operations in Sindh, but later on those were closed under some conspiracy to create a sugar crisis in the country. He said that sugar mills in Sindh would start sugar crushing from Nov 10.
Shahbaz Gill, while criticising the Sindh government, said that the sugar crisis had been created just for political point scoring and harming the interests of the country and people of Sindh. He said that after the passage of 18th Amendment, the management of commodities was a provincial subject, but the matter was being politicised to pressurise the federal government.
He said that people were well aware of the situation and they could not be hoodwinked by exploiters. The PTI government had revived the Competition Commission of Pakistan and imposed fine of more than Rs40 billion on the sugar mafia purely on merit, he added. He said that the mafia got stay from the courts and hid themselves behind it and added that in these circumstances, recoveries could not be made.
The SAPM said that the FBR has also been revived and later on, when tax assessment was made, tax evasions were detected. The FBR imposed tax of Rs500 billion on these tax evaders, but they also got stay orders from courts. He said the country had foreign reserves of $20 billion, which were $9 billion when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) came to power.
Shahbaz Gill said the government could absorb all sorts of criticism, but it would never compromise on the country’s economic interests. He regretted that the previous government had committed economic treason with the country.
To a question, he said that through the Ehsaas ration card initiative, those affected by price-hike would get relief. To another query, he said the PTI government did not believe in the use of power against protesters, adding that Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) had already been rejected by the people.
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