• Imran orders timely completion of CPEC projects
• Praises FBR for record revenue collection
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday ordered stern action against smugglers of sugar, wheat, urea and petrol and those involved in money laundering.
“Heavy damage is inflicted on the economy as a result of smuggling of food commodities due to price differential,” observed PM Khan at a meeting held to review measures against smuggling and money laundering.
“Smuggling creates an artificial shortage of commodities and ultimately results in price hike,” he remarked.
The meeting was attended by federal ministers Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Hammad Azhar, Khusro Bakhtiar, Fakhar Imam, Asad Umar, advisers Shaukat Tarin, Abdul Razak Dawood, special assistant to the PM Dr Shehbaz Gill, State Bank governor, FBR chairman as well as senior civil and military officers.
The PM, who presided over the meeting, directed all stakeholders to undertake emergency measures and control smuggling of essential commodities with out-of-the-box solutions. He highlighted the need for provision of relief to common man against [unprecedented] price hike.
The meeting was informed that the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) had undertaken extensive work against money laundering and illegal withholding of US dollars. Achievements to counter petrol smuggling and operations conducted against hoarders were also discussed in detail. The meeting was apprised of the measures taken to increase security at border crossings to check goods and ensure that each load was recorded for tracking purposes.
Just a day ago, Mr Khan and cabinet members blamed the Sindh government for what they called “failing to control hoarding of sugar and urea”. They also held the provincial government responsible for hike in sugar and wheat prices.
While chairing a separate meeting to review progress on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, Prime Minister Khan asserted that timelines specified for the completion of CPEC projects must be adhered to.
“The government is fully committed to provisions of CPEC agreements,” he said, adding that continuity of policies was essential for long-term projects.
The prime minister said China had been a time-tested friend of Pakistan and that the government accorded high priority to implementation and operationalisation of CPEC projects.
Earlier, Special Assistant to the PM on CPEC Affairs Khalid Mansoor updated the meeting on the current status of CPEC projects.
FBR tax collection.
Earlier, the PM appreciated the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on achieving an increase of 35 per cent in revenues of November 2021 compared with the same month the previous year.
“Congratulations to the FBR team for achieving a 35 per cent increase in revenues in November over last year,” Mr Khan tweeted.
The FBR a day ago claimed to have registered a “historic growth” in revenue collection of 36.5pc from July-November of the fiscal year 2021-22. “It has collected net revenues of Rs2,314 billion during the first five months of the current FY against set target of Rs2,016 billion, exceeding by Rs298 billion,” the FBR tweeted.
Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2021