-PM orders legislation against Sugar mafia
-Plans countrywide crackdown on hoarders
-Presses for relief to masses ahead of Ramazan
-Tells spokespersons to forget opposition, highlight government performance
By Uzma Zafar
ISLAMABAD: In a bid to deal with the sugar satta mafia, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday directed the concerned authorities to bring a new law in the country.
Presiding over a meeting of his party spokespersons in Islamabad, PM Imran Khan ordered to bring one-window operation law against the sugar satta mafia.
In order to ensure the availability of sugar at affordable rates, the prime minister directed to launch a countrywide crackdown on the sugar satta mafia. He directed the concerned authorities to take indiscriminate action against the aforementioned mafia to provide relief to the masses ahead of the holy month of Ramazan. In this regard, the session of all federal spokespersons and senior government huddle, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, decided on an agenda to bring down essential commodity prices ahead of the holy month.
Speaking to the media after the session, the federal minister for interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad said the PM has directed utmost relief to the people as the holy month inches closer. All edible and essential items must be made cheaper for the consumers and thus a direction has been made to Finance Minister Hammad Azhar to make it happen, Rasheed said.
He added that the PM has instructed the government huddle not to be bothered in the least by the opposition as it poses no threat at all.
The PM has instead ordered steps taken for cuts in the prices of sugar, flour, and lentil instead, he confirmed.
We shall duly project all the steps taken by the government in this regard and the performance thereof, the minister vowed.
Earlier on March 28, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in a crackdown against the sugar satta mafia in Karachi had arrested seven brokers involved in sugar heist. The FIA commercial banking circle had arrested four more persons after the earlier arrest of three sugar brokers in Karachi. The accused were involved in causing an artificial sugar crisis, a spokesperson of the FIA had said. The FIA had earlier arrested three brokers Dayaldas, Santosh Kumar and Raj Kumar in Karachi. “All three have been involved in sugar satta dealings,” FIA officials had said.
Moreover, PM Khan today directed the authorities concerned to finalize a short, medium, and long-term strategy based on timelines for the development of the Information Technology (IT) sector. Chairing a meeting on the promotion of the IT sector in the country, he called for early implementation of the strategy.
Prime Minister Imran said Pakistan has immense potential in the IT sector. The government is taking steps on a priority basis to organise experts in information technology, especially freelancers, he stressed.
Underlining the importance of building Special Technology Zones (STZ) in the country, he said the establishment of STZs will play a pivotal role in the development of the IT sector.
PM Imran remarked that various challenges have emerged during the pandemic; however, it has also created countless opportunities for IT professionals to work from home, he added.
He was apprised that Pakistan currently has the potential to earn $5 billion foreign exchange in the IT sector; however, due to the unavailability of facilities and lack of discipline in the sector, the foreign exchange is lower than the potential.
Also, Prime Minister Imran Khan has returned to the office after having purportedly recovered from the deadly coronavirus, it emerged on Monday. The premier shared a photograph of his return from his official Instagram account. Furthermore, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination, Dr Faisal Sultan confirmed the news.
However, he started his official duties last week without getting a second test, with PM’s aide Shahbaz Gill saying a coronavirus patient “does not need to get tested three days after their symptoms subside”. The prime minister keeps an active social media presence and often shares photos relating to his political and personal life. After returning to the office, Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rashed Ahmed called upon the prime minister to discuss the overall political situation.
During the meeting, PM Imran and Rasheed discussed political situation of the country and other matters related to the Interior Ministry. Prime Minister Imran was also given a briefing on the up-gradation of Korangi Fish Harbor, which was carried out with the financial grant given by the government of Japan. Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi briefed Prime Minister Imran as he called on him at his office.
Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday sought public support to overcome corruption, inflation, Covid-19 pandemic and increasing obscenity in society and assured the nation that he would not take any decision that will be against the interests of the country, including trade with India and IMF conditions.
“Imran Khan alone cannot tackle these problems and needs public support to overcome them,” the prime minister said in his third public interaction through telethon. He said the change would not come overnight and the nation would have to wait for seeing progress, economic stability and development in the country. “People have high hopes that Imran Khan will come and change the country; this only happens in fairy tales.”
He said there were two types of revolutions bloody and through ballot and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf came to power through ballot in which changing something was difficult. “Here the judiciary protects a person who looted public money and NAB protects a person who stashed away $60 million national wealth to the Swiss bank,” he added.
When a woman pointed out unprecedented inflation and that he should “now allow people to be worried”, the prime minister said economic conditions were quite encouraging and people should not worried (Ghabrana nahi hai) as the government would soon overcome the monster of price hike.
PM Khan said his government had introduced a mechanism to keep the prices of essential items in check, which had started in Lahore and would soon be expanded to other cities. For the first time, the economy was stable and the rupee gained strength, he said, adding that the price of dollar had affected power generation in the country because costly contracts were signed in the past. The diesel price increase also raised the cost of different things, he added.
The prime minister said the country had to import four million tonnes of wheat in one year alone after the standing crops were damaged by heavy rainfall.
“Mafias are sitting here. There are bookies in sugar trade. For the first time in the country’s history, we are going after them,” he added.