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Court directs Govt, mills to consult over sugar price

LAHORE: A bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday heard sugar mills petition challenging the government’s order of fixing the ex-mill sugar price at Rs80.

The high court had on Tuesday restrained the Punjab government from implementing a notification about fixing the ex-mill and retail price of sugar at Rs 80 and Rs 85 respectively.

Justice Shahid Jamil Khan heard the case.

“Will you take the stakeholders onboard over the price,” the bench asked the official of provincial ministry of industries, present in the court.

“The sugar mills not responded to the ministry,” the official said.

“They have affirmed to come for meeting. Sit with them and fix the price,” the court said. “Under the Article 18 sugar mills owners have right to bring the matter to the court,” the bench further observed.

“You have to grant subsidy if you will fix the price below the cost,” the bench said.

“Hear their point of view and then determine the price with mutual consultation. Ramazan is around the corner and your authority of fixing the price has been challenged in the court,” the court further said.

“They were summoned and even advertisements published in newspapers but they failed to heed,” Advocate General Punjab said.

“The price of sugar was fixed at Rs.70 per KG with mutual agreement in Islamabad High Court and now they don’t agree to sell at Rs.85 per KG,” the government counsel argued.

“Keep the FBR data before you, sit and decide the matter with mutual consultation,” the court told two sides. ” Currently price hike is the most critical issue of the country,” the bench observed.

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