Prime Minister Imran Khan has once again made it clear that there will be no concessions or compromises in the action against smuggling. He said that the reduction in petrol and especially diesel prices by the government was aimed at providing relief to the people. He asked the provincial authorities to play a proactive role in ensuring that the benefits of reduction in fuel prices were extended to the people.
Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a high-level meeting on anti-trafficking and basic commodity prices in which Minister for Industry Muhammad Hamad Azhar, Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhr Imam, Finance Advisor Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Trade Adviser Abdul Razzaq Daud, Secretary Home, Secretary Finance, Secretary Food Security, Chairman FB were present.
The four Provincial Chief Secretaries, Home Secretaries and IGs also attended the meeting through video link. It was informed in the meeting that an ordinance has been implemented by the government to make the law more effective with regard to prevention of smuggling in which the law has been tightened to deal with the elements involved in smuggling of currency and essential commodities.
Authorized law enforcement agencies within five kilometers of borders and at airports have been empowered to take action against smuggling, according to the new law. The elements involved in smuggling have also been given the option of taking into custody. At the same time, coordination between district administrations, customs officials, intelligence agencies, and law enforcement agencies has been further improved to ensure effective prevention of trafficking. Informed about the steps to be taken so far after implementation.
The Provincial Chief Secretaries gave a detailed briefing on the steps taken to curb smuggling. Addressing the meeting, the Prime Minister said that smuggling was a menace to the country’s economy. He said that smuggling harms the national economy in two ways, firstly, it threatens the food security of the country and it causes problems and distress to the people due to shortage of basic necessities of life. At the same time, smuggling causes irreparable damage to the country’s industry, which hampers the industrial process.
He said that there would be no concession or compromise in the action against smuggling. The Prime Minister directed that a report on the prevention of smuggling and action were taken against those involved in smuggling by all the concerned agencies be submitted every fortnight so that the progress in this regard could be continuously monitored. The Provincial Chief Secretaries apprised the Prime Minister about the wheat production, harvesting, and overall situation.
The meeting also reviewed the prices of essential commodities and briefed the Prime Minister in detail about the steps being taken to bring down these prices. The stockpiling and illegal activities by various provincial governments. Reports of action taken against profiteers were also presented to the Prime Minister. Minister for Industry Muhammad Hamad Azhar briefed the meeting on the efforts being made to bring down the prices of cement, steel, cooking oil, etc.
A detailed briefing was also given on the situation of supply of essential commodities to the people at controlled rates at utility stores across the country. Referring to the steps taken to bring down the prices of essential commodities, the Prime Minister directed the provincial authorities that the reduction in petrol and especially diesel prices by the government was aimed at providing relief to the people. He said that the benefit of the reduction in fuel prices should be ensured to the people. He asked the provincial authorities to play a proactive role in this regard.