The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has sought the help of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to present monitoring reports regularly, as Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan directs for a large-scale crackdown on smuggling of edibles and other commodities, The News reported.
According to reports, the premier has asked the Interior Ministry, law enforcement agencies of the federal and provincial governments, and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to collectively take action against the menace of smuggling. He has also directed the Interior Ministry to present a report on related measures and a comprehensive strategy on the matter within 48 hours.
He emphasised that keeping in view the recommendations of the task force formed to combat smuggling, short-term, medium-term and long-term measures should be initiated.
The decision was taken at a high-level meeting, presided over by PM Imran and attended by Minister for National Food Security Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Adviser to the PM on Commerce and Trade Abdul Razak Dawood, interior and national food security secretaries, and acting FBR chairman among other senior officials.
The meeting took stock of the demand and supply of essential commodities and their prices with particular reference to their smuggling. The report on progress so far made on the establishment of markets at the western border was also presented at the meeting. The PM directed accelerating the pace of establishment of markets and observed that because of smuggling of food items, common man was facing difficulties.
“The menace of smuggling is causing losses worth billions to the national economy. Combating this menace is in national interests,” he contended, adding that prices of food items must be brought down by up to 20 per cent.
The premier also made it clear that no negligence would be tolerated with regard to smuggling.