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Shifting of Chaudhry Sugar Mills from RY Khan ordered [The Nation] 04 May, 2017

LAHORE - The industries director general, who is also the judge of the department, has ordered removal of M/s Chaudhry Sugar Mills Ltd from Rahim Yar Khan district within 30 days, The Nation has learnt.

Official sources said the order was issued under the Punjab Industries (Control on Establishment and Enlargement) Ordinance, 1963.

After taking into account all the relevant facts of the case, the court of the DG was of the considered view that even if the contention of the M/s Chaudhry Sugar Mills that they had not established a new sugar mill in Rahim Yar Khan, but had shifted it from district TT Singh was accepted, it should have sought prior permission of the competent authority before its shifting.

Brief facts of the case are that District Officer, Industries, Prices, Weights &Measures (DO IPWM), Rahim Yar Khan, reported that construction of a new sugar mills, M/s Chaudhry Sugar Mills Ltd (CSML), was noticed during a field visit. The mill’s deputy general manager, Haroon Rasheed, told him that it was a case of shifting of the sugar mill from Gojra, Toba Tek Singh, to Rahim Yar Khan.

After receiving the report of District Officer, Industries, Prices, Weights &Measures (DO IPWM), Rahim Yar Khan, a show-cause notice was served on the CSML for relocating it in contravention of the ordinance which had banned establishment of new sugar mills across the province.

The mill’s deputy general manager, in his reply to the show-cause notice, contended they had not established a new sugar mills; rather they had shifted/relocated it from Toba T Singh to Rahim Yar Khan.

The mill’s representative argued that they had not committed any violation of law or policy of the government. “The government has banned establishment of a new sugar mill and increase in the capacity of the existing one, but they have neither established a new sugar mill nor have they enhanced its capacity,” he contended.

He further argued: “There is also no legal impediment in relocating the sugar mill under the policy. Furthermore, the area of their mill at Toba Tek Singh was mired by waterlogging and salinity which had severely affected supply of sugarcane.”

There was a heavy toll on the CSML’s procurement system in terms of transportation, resulting in inefficient operation, low yield, higher price of sugarcane and local environmental factors beyond our control. These factors led to dearth of sugarcane in TT Singh as compared to Rahim Yar Khan,” he further contended.

There was no other option but to relocate their mill to an area where supply of sugarcane was available, he asserted.

“Various corrective measures, including installation of tube-wells, repair of canal’s banks, drainage system and development initiatives, have been taken from time to time by Chaudhry Sugar Mills Limited at RY Khan, spending millions of rupees,” he contended and sought withdrawal of the show-cause notice issued against the mill.

On the other hand, the departmental representative stated that CSML had relocated its unit from TT Singh to Rahim Yar Khan without seeking prior permission of the competent authority in contravention of the ordinance and the ban imposed by the Punjab government on December 6, 2006.

The court of the DG was also told that the government policy was subsequently amended from time to time. In 2002, it was said that no new sugar mill would be set up or expanded in districts Multan, Sahiwal, Vehari, Kanewal, Lodhran, RY Khan, Bahawalnagar, DG Khan, Rajanpur, Layyah, Muzaffargarh and Okara. Lastly, a complete ban on establishment of new sugar mills was imposed.

The department judge observed that perusal of the law and the policies of the government issued from time to time revealed that initially different districts of Punjab at different times were prevented from setting up new sugar industry. Prima facie, the reason appears to be that the government did not want to disturb the crop pattern in those areas.

After taking into account all the relevant facts of the case, DG Khalid Saleem, acting in the capacity of the department’s judge, ruled that even if the contention of the Chaudhry Sugar Mill that they had not established a new sugar mill in Rahim Yar khan, but had shifted it from TT Singh was accepted, the 2002 policy still required them to seek prior permission of the government for its shifting. Accordingly, in exercise of powers, the court ordered that Chaudhry Sugar Mills Ltd be removed from Rahim Yar Khan within 30 days.

It was stated that the DC concerned would implement the orders to remove the sugar mill within 30 days.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 04-May-2017 here.

    
 
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