ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday directed the authorities concerned to immediately launch a “large-scale” crackdown on smuggling across the country.
He issued the directive while chairing a meeting on food inflation and smuggling. “The smuggling of food items results in price hikes and hardships for the common man that is not acceptable in any condition,” Mr Khan said, according to a series of tweets by the Prime Minister Office.
The prime minister said smuggling was causing billions of rupees of losses to the national economy. “Effective prevention of smuggling is a matter of national interest [therefore] no negligence will be tolerated in that regard,” he added.
The meeting was attended by Minister for National Food Security and Research Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, secretaries of interior and national food security, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) acting chairman, provincial home secretaries and other senior officers.
Directs IB, ISI and FIA to regularly submit monitoring reports on actions taken
The prime minister directed the interior ministry, federal and provincial law enforcement institutions, FBR and provincial governments to immediately launch a joint anti-smuggling operation. He asked the interior ministry to submit within the next 48 hours a report on actions being taken along with a comprehensive strategy.
The premier directed the officials concerned to start taking short-, medium- and long-term measures while keeping in view recommendations of the task force constituted to check smuggling.
The Intelligence Bureau, Inter-Services Intelligence and Federal Investigation Agency were directed to submit monitoring reports on the anti-smuggling crackdown to the prime minister on a regular basis.
After reviewing a progress report on the establishment of border markets along the western frontiers, Prime Minister Khan issued directives to speed up the process of establishing border markets in Balochistan.
He directed the authorities concerned to formulate a comprehensive policy regarding Iranian petroleum products and utilise technology to curb smuggling.
Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2020