Islamabad: A senior government official familiar with the forensic investigation into the sugar and flour crisis has said that obstacles such as the search for 'required' forensic experts and closure of mills could delay the completion of the comprehensive audit.
According to media, after the initial report of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) came to light, Prime Minister Imran Khan had ordered the commission to conduct a forensic audit by April 25.
The FIA report found alleged involvement of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen and Food Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, PTI coalition leader Monis Elahi and their close relatives in the food crisis.
A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Dawn that it was impossible for the Commission of Inquiry to forensic all sugar and flour mills within three weeks, so the commission asked for another three weeks to finalize the report.
He said that if the misdeeds of some sugar traders were not exposed by the media, the price of one kg of sugar was likely to go up to Rs 110 to Rs 120 per kg this Ramadan.
The official added that due to the recent situation of the corona virus, the consumption of sugar in the country has also come down sharply, otherwise its price would have been very high.
He also said that before criticizing the government and any institution for delaying the completion of reports, it should be known what a forensic audit is.
He said that the experience of a forensic audit of industries was new in the country as a result of which the Commission of Inquiry was facing difficulties in investigating the sugar and flour crisis.
The government official added that when we decided to conduct a forensic investigation, we could not initially find the required forensic experts.
He said the closure of the mills due to the coronavirus was another problem as the owners were not ready to reopen their mills unless the commission threatened to reopen the mills themselves in case of non-cooperation. On warning, the mill owners agreed to open factories for a forensic audit.
The official said that there was an informal and secret system of price increase in the sugar industry in the country which is called Satta.
"We have reported that the price of sugar could have been increased from Rs 110 to Rs 120 per kg through speculation this Ramadan, but when the inquiry reports were published in the media, those involved in illegal trade increased the price of sugar," he added. Stopped.
The government official further said that the forensic report will explain how betting is played in the sugar industry.
It may be recalled that the day before yesterday, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Accountability Shehzad Akbar had said in a tweet that the commission had sought time to submit its report while the federal cabinet would decide on the application on the 28th.