House panel asks CIAA to probe into sugar price hike

By A Staff Reporter

Kathmandu, Oct. 12: A sub-committee under the Public Account Committee (PAC) of the Parliament on Thursday submitted a report to the parliamentary committee, suggesting that the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) conduct an investigation into the price hike of sugar.
The sub-committee headed by PAC member Lekh Raj Bhatta suggested involving the CIAA in the investigation into the sugar’s price hike, concluding that there might be irregularities in the unusual price hike.
The report of the sub-committee stated that there might be a foul-play behind creating a condition to sell sugar at a higher price than the price fixed by the government by maintaining cartel and stopping the imports of sugar.
The sub-committee blamed that the price of sugar was hiked without implementing the agreement reached among the Prime Minister, the line minister, lawmakers, sugarcane farmers and the sugar industries.
“As per the agreement, the sugar must be sold at Rs. 63 per kg. However, its price has been fixed at Rs.70 rupees per kg,” said the sub-committee.
According to the sub-committee members, earlier the sugar price was fixed at Rs. 53 per kg, excluding VAT in mid-May, but recently, the price was hiked through cartel and by forging illegal setting with the concerned ministry.
The sub-committee also told the PAC to seek the details of the sugar stock from all sugar factories.
Similarly, a full committee has been suggested to draw details of sugar imports after the increase in the custom duties.
PAC president Bharat Kumar Shah said that an urgent decision would be taken after holding discussion on the report of the sub-committee.
During the meeting of the PAC today, lawmakers Hridyesh Tripathi, Rajendra Kumar KC and Prem Ale, among others, demanded an investigation into them who were behind hiking the price of the sugar.
They accused the Finance and Commerce Ministries of playing a part in increasing the sugar price. 

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