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Coronavirus
LOW Source: covid.gov.pk
Pakistan Deaths
28,728
1024hr
Pakistan Cases
1,284,840
47524hr
1.12% positivity
Sindh
475,616
Punjab
443,094
Balochistan
33,479
Islamabad
107,689
KPK
179,995

ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Mirza Shahzad Akbar, on Saturday, said that the confusion in the National Accountability (second amendment) Ordinance 2021 regarding jurisdiction of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) will be removed soon.

"Some confusion has been created regarding jurisdiction of the NAB and the accountability courts after promulgation of the National Accountability (second amendment) Ordinance 2021, which will be addressed soon by the Ministry of Law and Justice," Akbar said, while addressing a press conference.

He said that he has discussed the confusion related to jurisdiction and audio, video recording of evidence with Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Farogh Naseem and Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan during a meeting.

According to the new ordinance, video and audio recording of evidence and proceedings will be conducted due to which some courts have stopped recording of witness statement because of lack of audio and video recording facility, he said.

However, he said under the new ordinance, audio and video facility will be installed within six months after promulgation of ordinance, so courts can continue recording of evidence and proceedings of cases in the absence of audio and video facility for six months.

Regional NAB bureaus barred from making decisions

Akbar said that the NAB has also written a letter to the Ministry of Law and Justice seeking guidance of the ministry regarding questions of interpretation and clarification of some points.

The Ministry of Law and Justice will soon issue clarification of all confusion regarding the NAB (Second Amendment) Ordinance to the NAB, as well as, to the accountability courts, he said.

About the Sugar Inquiry Commission, he said that the federal cabinet had constituted an inquiry commission under Inquiry Commission Act 2017.

The commission had conducted an inquiry and presented its report to the federal cabinet, he said, adding that the commission also made some recommendations in its report. He said that the commission had made two types of recommendations including penal and administrative action.

Following report of the commission, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has conducted audit of sugar mills of last five years on recommendation of the Sugar Inquiry Commission and it has imposed liabilities of Rs619 billion against the sugar industry. The FBR has so far completed audit of 64 out of 89 sugar mills, he said, adding that 10 sugar mills have obtained stay from various courts.

He said that the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has imposed penalty of Rs44 billion on the sugar industry for cartelisation, price fixing, and market manipulation.

He said the audit has contributed to doubling the tax revenue from sugar mills during the last fiscal year.

Track and trace system will be installed in sugar mills before the next crushing season in order to determine their actual production and avoidance of tax evasion, he said.

Regarding commission for inquiry into petrol crisis of June 2020, he said that in the past when the price of petroleum products came down in the international market, the government also reduced prices but in some cities of the country witnessed petrol shortage.

Following the crises, the federal cabinet order any inquiry commission to investigate petrol crises.

The commission concluded that shortage was created due to hoarding and held the oil marketing companies (OMCs) responsible for the shortage, due to which the benefit of decrease in prices of petroleum products did not reach the general public.

He said that the commission has identified over 2,000 illegal petrol stations across the country, which were closed down by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the OGRA. Following closing down of illegal petrol stations, 36 percent increase was recorded in the sale of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and also the sale of multinationals recorded an increase, he said.

He said that fine was imposed on the OMCs involved in the shortage of petroleum products.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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