Pakistan

Fresh sugar price will be determined as per newly framed rules: Federal govt told LHC

The federal government would determine a fresh sugar price in accordance with newly framed rules and an appellate authority would also be notified to hear the grievances of the sugar mills.

This statement was made on Thursday on behalf of the federal government before the Lahore High Court (LHC).

A deputy attorney general (DAG) Asad Ali Bajwa submitted that sugar price would be determined afresh in accordance with newly framed rules and an appellate authority would also be notified to hear the grievances of the sugar mills.

DAG also produced a copy of a notification/SRO-1062 issued on August 24, 2021, whereby rules under the Price Control and Prevention of Profiteering and Hoarding Act 1977 had been framed for fixation of price. He stated that the notification issued on July 30 for the fixation of sugar price was in accordance with the rules but could not be convinced that the rules could be applied retrospectively.

The undertaking was given by DAG during hearing a set of petitions by the sugar mills challenging a July 30th notification about fixing the ex-mill price of sugar at Rs84.50 and retail at Rs89.5 per kilogram.

Justice Shahid Jamil Khan was hearing the petition and in the light of the undertaking by the law officer about the fixation of the price afresh, the judge adjourned the hearing till September 14.

The judge directed an additional advocate general Jawad Yaqoob to ensure that consequent rules under the Punjab Foodstuff (Control) Act 1958 were also notified by the provincial government as well till the next hearing.

Earlier, the counsel for the millers complained that the deputy registrar (judicial) of the LHC was not accepting post-dated cheques under the head of difference between the amounts charged and collected by them and the price fixed by the government.

The judge directed the deputy registrar (judicial) to accept the post-dated cheques in light of the apex court’s direction.

The Supreme Court had already directed the miller owners to deposit the difference of the two amounts with the LHC till the final decision of the petitions by the latter. Apex court had directed that such amounts would be made voluntarily but would be subject to replenishment forthwith to the correct amount notified to the erring sugar mills by the cane commissioner.

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