ISLAMABAD: In a move to keep sugar price stable and meet the growing local demand, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday ordered a “complete ban” on the export of the commodity, warning that hoarders and smugglers would be dealt with an iron hand and zero tolerance for the officials found negligent in their duties in this regard.
On the other hand, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz parliamentary party meeting, chaired by PM Sharif, vowed to defend the Constitution, judiciary and national institutions amid high political tension in which state institutions were being dragged into ‘political discourse’.
“Given the domestic demand, I have ordered a complete ban on the export of sugar. There will be a strict action against smuggling and hoarding. Absolutely zero tolerance will be shown for those found negligent in their duties,” the PM tweeted.
Previously, the PTI government had imposed a “ban on sugar import” so that the local production could meet its demand in the country.
Legal action against Imran sought for his verbal attacks on judiciary
PM Sharif asked the relevant departments to keep him informed about implementation of his orders. Consumers have been complaining about shortage of sugar and wheat flour at Utility Stores since the government announcement to reduce prices of various food items during Ramazan.
Media reports said the shortage was reported particularly in Punjab, where the Utility Stores had run out of sugar. The reports quoted consumers as complaining that store administrations were conditioning sale and purchase of oil and sugar with other items and not providing single items to consumers. Utility Stores Corporation staff, however, later denied the allegation.
Legal action against Imran
Later, Prime Minister Sharif presided over the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) parliamentary party meeting, which expressed its support for measures to defend the Constitution, the judiciary and other national institutions.
Military authorities a day earlier had asked political leaders and media not to drag the army into political quagmire.
The PML-N parliamentary party meeting demanded that Prime Minister Sharif take immediate legal action against PTI chairman Imran Khan for verbal attacks on national institutions including the Constitution and judiciary.
It noted that the ex-premier was targeting the judiciary, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and national institutions just because they are abiding by the Constitution.
The meeting strongly condemned what it called ‘conspiracy’ of the PTI government against Pakistan’s economy, Constitution, judiciary and national institutions. It suggested the government to deal with violators in accordance with the Constitution.
Appreciating efforts of the prime minister and the cabinet, the meeting termed provision of relief to the people affected by the severe inflation during the last four years, especially during the holy month of Ramazan, people-friendly steps.
It also lauded the prime minister’s decision to put no further burden on public despite budget deficit at a time when petroleum prices were high in international market.
The meeting highlighted the need for expediting the electoral, economic and administrative reforms in line with the promises made by the coalition government to the people and asked the allied parties to formulate a clear strategy for speedy completion of the goals.
Participants in the meeting appreciated the steps taken by PM Sharif for strengthening the federation and national unity.
Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2022