PM directs strict action against wheat smugglers

F.P. Report
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday directed the authorities concerned to take strict action against the smugglers of wheat, sugar and Urea, adversely impacting Pakistan’s foreign remittances and usurping the right of its people.
The prime minister, who chaired a meeting to review the measures to curb the smuggling of the said commodities, said he would not rest until the country got rid of the menace of smuggling. He said he would never allow some black sheep to usurp the country’s foreign remittances and the right of its people.
He said due to Allah’s blessing and the government’s efforts, Pakistan had got a bumper wheat crop breaking the record of the last ten years. He said the people of Pakistan had all the rights over the produce achieved consequent to the farmers’ hard work and the government’s efforts, despite the heavy rains and floods.
The prime minister reiterated that he would never allow the smugglers to create problems for the people. He said the government was also carrying out plans to achieve even more wheat production by next year. He said the government had also started implementing a comprehensive plan to ensure an uninterrupted supply of Urea to the farmers for the next crop.
He resolved that the government would make all-out efforts to make Pakistan reemerge as a wheat exporter country. The prime minister also formed a steering committee under him to curb the smuggling. Prime Minister Shehbaz directed Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah to personally visit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to meet the provincial authorities and submit a report.
He said the officials involved in the smuggling or showing negligence would be removed and departmental proceedings would be initiated against them. He also instructed to confiscate the goods being smuggled and hold proper investigation to trace out the real culprits. He also called for increasing the number of anti-smuggling courts and building their capacity to cope with the menace, besides ensuring early hearings and strict punishment to the culprits.
The prime minister also asked for taking to task all the mill owners, dealers and warehouse owners involved in the smuggling. He also asked SUPARCO to extend support for monitoring the smuggling activities through satellite. He lauded the efforts of the law enforcement agencies for curbing the smuggling. The meeting was briefed in detail about the anti-smuggling efforts on the district and provincial borders.
It was told that the number of joint check posts of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and law and enforcement agencies (LEAs) in Balochistan’s bordering districts had been increased to 10, besides the regular joint patrolling being carried out there. The meeting was told that during the last few weeks, around 6,000 tons of smuggling goods were recovered from Khuzdar. Moreover, the smuggling goods weighing 4,342 tons were confiscated just during the last week from convoys of trucks or warehouses.