July 26, 2015 Off By Web Desk

Islamabad: A meeting of the S/C on Industries and Production was held under the Chairmanship of Mr. Asad Umar, MNA in Parliament House for a briefing on Purchase of Sugar for Ramada Package & Review of Furniture Pakistan Company.

During the briefing, the Secretary, Ministry of Industries & Production briefed the Committee that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet in its meeting held on 25-04-2014 directed TCP to stop procurement of sugar for USC and USC was asked to procure sugar itself for sales to consumers.

USC in compliance with the decision of ECC has floated five tenders in press for procurement of sugar and the response was discouraging. The rates received in the tenders were higher even the retail market rates. Resultantly except one all other tender were scraped and hence sugar could not be procured.

For the last many years the ECC of the Cabinet is approving Ramzan Relief Packages for the consumers under which essential commodities are sold on subsidized rates. Ramzan Relief Package 2015 was presented to the ECC of the Cabinet on 23rd April 2015 in which sale of sugar on subsidized rates was also included.

After adding USC incidentals at the rate of Rs.3.45 per kg, the landed cost of sugar worked out at Rs.63/- per kg. USC sold sugar to consumers at Rs.58/- per kg during the month of Ramzan 2015. Against this the prevailing market prices as per SPI remained Rs.65/- per kg.

The Chairman SC directed Ministry to refer cases to Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) who are involved prima facie with cartelization regarding the bid procedure of the sugar prices. It was also recommended by the committee that Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola should consult in future regarding the sugar prices as they are the biggest buyer of the sugar.

The Chief Executive of Furniture Pakistan Company also briefed committee about the basic structure of the Furniture company which was formulated in 2007-08 and in 2009 to improve and enhance the Furniture sector in Pakistan by Technology up gradation, Human Resource Development and provision of adequate Physical Resources. He briefed that they are also focusing on preserving the indigenous craftsmanship, adding value to it and making it marketable to the rest of the world.

The SC took serious note regarding the corruption, irregularities and appointment of Mr. Faisal Shamimi as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Furniture Pakistan. The committee directed CEO to give response in writing to the committee about the allegations made/put on him in different newspapers, so that after receiving comments by him the committee can reach on decision for further action.

Members who attended the meeting are Mr. Isphanyar M. Bhandara, MNA, Sahibzada Mohammad Nazeer Sultan, MNA, Dr. Shezra Mansab Ali Khan Kharal, MNA and Ms. Sajida Begum, MNA.