Caretaker PM directs expediting efforts to control smuggling


ISLAMABAD (APP): Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Monday directed the relevant law enforcement agencies, including the Frontier Corps, Pakistan Customs and district administrations to expedite their efforts to completely curb smuggling.

He observed that with abhorrent practice of smuggling, few influential people were benefited and stressed that with the establishment of special economic zones and industries in the border areas of the country, provision of alternate livelihood opportunities to the inhabitants should be ensured.

The caretaker prime minister chaired a review meeting regarding the Afghan Transit Trade and anti-smuggling operations which was attended by Caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar, chief secretaries of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, inspectors general of Frontier Corps (FC), federal secretaries and other relevant senior officials, the PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.

A report over the Afghan Transit Trade and curbing of smuggling was presented in the meeting.

The meeting was also informed about the performance of Pakistan Customs, FC, district administrations and National Logistic Corporation (NLC) in the border areas. All these agencies had been working to curb smuggling at the border areas which led to saving of national exchequer from the huge damage caused by the millions of tones smuggling of illegal goods.

The caretaker prime minister directed for formulation of a comprehensive mechanism for provision of employment opportunities to the local people through social safety and imparting of skill sets.

He also directed the Ministry of Trade to ensure strict monitoring of the transit trade and apprise the relevant authorities about the trends over export of goods.

He also expressed the resolve to end smuggling which was causing huge losses to the nation, and reiterated that the government would not allow those local elements who had been claiming in a grotesque manner of providing job opportunities to the people through smuggling.

The prime minister further said that the caretaker government would continue taking steps to end smuggling till the completion of its tenure and directed the NLC to complete its scanning and checking project at the Chaman border on priority basis.

Pakistan Customs should strengthen its capacity at the border areas so that the people arrested in the smuggling cases should be awarded exemplary punishment in accordance with law, he stressed.

The caretaker prime minister said that besides ending the illegal practice of smuggling, there was a need to control demand and supply of those goods in urban areas, adding that officers of good repute should be deputed in the border districts, particularly in the sensitive areas, along with enforcing a transparent system over postings and transfers.

Prime Minister Kakar further said that in the border areas, legal trade should be promoted and complete documentation in that regard should be ensured, adding that for the cargo monitoring, the Federal Board Revenue’s  track and trace system should be made functional.

He said that the progress report on anti-smuggling measures should be submitted in the upcoming meeting by accelerating efforts.

The prime minister directed that the Ministries of Trade and Industries should formulate a comprehensive strategy for the establishment of special investment zones and industries in the border areas.

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