ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Khan Tareen on Tuesday clarified that the rise in the sugar prices would not benefit him and the money was going to the national exchequer.
Tareen, in response to a question, said: “This is a big misconception that people are spreading.”
He said that any additional revenue for an increase in sugar prices was going to the government, not the private sector.
“The money from the rise in sugar prices will not go to me or to the sugar mills — it is going to the government,” said the former PTI secretary general while addressing a press conference on the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Emergency Programme along with Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Mohammad Mehboob Sultan.
The government in its budget for 2019-20 increased the tax on sugar from 11 per cent to 17pc, saying the move would result in a mere increase of up to Rs3.5 per kilogram.
PTI leader and former finance minister Asad Umar, however, had asked his party’s government to reconsider the increased tax on sugar and cooking oil in the federal budget. Umar had also called for an investigation as to why sugar prices are on the rise.
During the press conference today, Tareen also responded to a question regarding his role in the government: “I do not hold a position,” he said, adding that the Supreme Court’s verdict regarding his disqualification had stated that he could not do so.
Tareen was disqualified on December 15, 2017, for the misdeclaration under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution — the same provision under which former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was held ineligible for life to hold any public office over the Panama Papers leaks case.
The PTI leader said that if he is called for advice, he would provide it, adding that Sahibzada Sultan had earlier told the press that he had invited Tareen himself.
Tareen said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had given him the responsibility for the agriculture emergency programme and he had also given the cabinet a briefing on the matter.
Later, during the press conference, the federal minister for national food security and research reiterated that Tareen was sitting at the press conference on his request.
Sultan said that it was his third term in politics and he had never seen anyone who understood the agricultural sector in Pakistan better than Tareen.
According to Sultan, previous governments had only thought about themselves, claiming that this was the first government that was “only thinking about the people of the country”.
During the press conference, the PTI leaders shared information regarding the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Emergency Programme.