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Jun 06, 2020 PRINT EDITION
Opinions

Sugar turns sour - suddenly

The forensic report made public by the federal government is said to have 'revealed' that six major sugar mill groups had acted as "cartels". According to the government, six major groups held 51 percent of the production supply.

May 23, 2020

The forensic report made public by the federal government is said to have 'revealed' that six major sugar mill groups had acted as "cartels". According to the government, six major groups held 51 percent of the production supply.
The DG Anti-Corruption Punjab and one member each from the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the Intern-Services Intelligence (ISI), the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) were made part of the committee which was led by DG FIA Wajid Zia.
The question however is, whether or not somebody from Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) was also made part of the sugar inquiry commission. If not, what could be the plausible justification for such flawed composition of a commission that has concluded that sugar millers had acted as 'cartels' - an area that clearly falls into the domain of CCP.
It is needless to say that CCP is an 'independent' "quasi-regulatory, quasi-judicial body that helps ensure healthy competition between companies for the benefit of the economy". A related question could be: What did CCP do to forestall cartelisation in sugar industry in accordance with its mandate to promote a 'competition culture' in the country. This 'regulator too, in my view, is lacking genuine force or effectiveness.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020