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Inefficient revenue system of agriculture dept: three sugar mills fail to pay over Rs 10 million cane cess




  • Three sugar mills – M/s Ansari Sugar Mills, M/s Larr Sugar Mills and M/s Kiran Sugar Mills – failed to pay Rs 7.475 million of sugar cane development cess besides a penalty of Rs 3.249 million to the agriculture department in FY 2010-11. M/s Larr Sugar Mills, Sujawal and M/s Kiran Sugar Mills Rohri had also not paid penalty of Rs 3.249 million on late deposit of sugar cane development cess, it was revealed on Thursday. 

    These disclosures are mentioned in “Audit report on the accounts of revenue receipts government of Sindh audit year 2011-12,” prepared by Auditor General of Pakistan, a copy of which was obtained byBusiness Recorder. The report mentioned in Audit paras 2.4 “Short realisation of sugar cane development cess No Rs 7.475 million” that: as per Sindh Government’s notification No 8 (142)/SO/(Ext.)/95-XXIII dated 20th October 2010, “sugar cane development cess @ 50 paisa per 40-kg on cane crushed during the financial year 2010-11, by each sugar mill in the province should have been realised.” 

    The Cane Commissioner Sindh short realised sugar cane development cess of Rs 7.475 million from M/s Ansari, Matli, M/s Larr, Sujawal and M/s Kiran, Rohri in FY 2010-11, the report revealed. “The recovery was not affected due to inefficient revenue collection of agriculture department. The short receipt of cess dues from sugar mills caused revenue loss to the government.” 

    The short realisation was pointed out to the department in August, October and December 2011 but no reply was received till finalisation of this report. The Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC) meeting was not convened by the concerned authorities despite request to the PAO, the report stated. 

    The report added that: As per Rule 3(3) of sugar cane development cess rules 1964, “the non-depositing of sugar cane development cess into government treasury within 15 days of close of each fortnight ie 5th and 20th of each month is liable to be 100 percent penalised of equal amount of the sugar cane development cess not deposited into crushed season. “Sindh Cane Commissioner did not recover penalty of Rs 3.249 million on late deposit of sugar cane development cess from M/s Larr and M/s Kiran.” 

    The non-recovery of penalty impacted negatively on tax revenue of the government, it stated. The Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC) meeting was not convened by the department despite request to the PAO, the audit para concluded. Reliable sources told Business Recorder that the said three sugar mills are the properties of three high-profile political bigwigs belonging to major ruling party. 

    When contacted, recently-posted Cane Commissioner Riaz Soomro told Business Recorder that he has no knowledge of the previous issues as he has joined this post only a couple of days ago. The Cane Commissioner hoped for implementation of the law saying that he would implement all Acts concerning the sugar industry in letter and spirit. 

    Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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