PM orders crackdown on smuggling of food and other items

Seeks regular reports from IB, ISI and FIA

By: News Desk      Published: 06:40 PM, 18 Feb, 2020
PM orders crackdown on smuggling of food and other items

Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered a massive crackdown on smuggling of food and other items.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting on Tuesday in Islamabad chaired by the prime minister, directing the interior ministry to present a comprehensive report regarding the actions taken in this regard within 48 hours.

Taking a view of the recommendations prepared by the task force to curb smuggling, PM Imran has directed actions for short-term, medium-term and long-term goals.

The meeting was attended by Minister for National Food Security Makhdoom Khasru Bakhtiyar, Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umer, Advisor for trade affairs Abdul Razzaq Dawood, in addition to the interior secretary, secretary national food security, acting FBR Chairman and some other senior officials.

The PM directed the interior ministry and the law enforcing agencies of both the Centre and the provinces to take joint action against smuggling.

The law enforcing agencies including Intelligence Bureau (IB), Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) were directed to present regular reports to the prime minister.

The development relating to the establishment of border markets on the western frontier was also presented in the meeting. The PM also directed the concerned authorities to hasten the progress over the development of border markets in Balochistan.

PM Imran said that food smuggling causes price hike and eventually renders the poor people’s lives more difficult, which is not acceptable.

In addition, the smuggling of the food items is causing losses to national exchequer worth billions of rupees. “The effective prevention of smuggling is a matter of national interest and we cannot tolerate any negligence in this regard.”

Imran also said that the government will make a comprehensive policy regarding Iranian oil, adding that technology should be used in order to prevent smuggling.

Capital’s police stations

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday directed the Interior Minister to establish a complaint management system at every police station of the capital and make Islamabad a model safe and secure city.

The prime minister was chairing a meeting on civic amenities in the capital including law and order, health and education. The PM stressed capacity-building of Islamabad Police and taking steps according to the required needs relating to human resource.

He said the complaint management system would receive online feedback of citizens which would be used for the improvement of service delivery.

Taking serious notice of complaints regarding lack of health facilities in the federal capital, the prime minister said negligence would not be spared and directed the Secretary Health to urgently focus on proper utilization of hospital administration, shortage of human resource and provision of medicines.

The prime minister directed to address the shortage of teaching staff by valuing education as an emergency need. He said knowledge was linked to a bright future and vowed to provide all necessary resources to ensure quality education.

He instructed that special attention be paid on upgrading the quality of 24 model schools and colleges and devise a roadmap outlining time-line of targets achieved. Imran stressed laying equal focus on educational institutes of female students as well.

Taking serious notice of illegal concrete construction in green areas of the capital, the prime minister directed the Chairman Capital Development Authority to pinpoint the violators for a strong action against them.

He said action would be taken against those violating the CDA bylaws, may it individuals and owners of housing societies. He said that use of concrete without proper planning was disturbing the environmental balance and needed an understanding by all segments of society.

Earlier, Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood briefed about steps taken for improvement of 423 public schools and colleges in the premises of Islamabad.

Secretary Health Dr Allah Bux gave a detailed briefing to the prime minister on steps taken to improve health-related facilities in the capital. He said four community health centres and 16 basic health units would be made fully operational by this June, which would complement the medical treatment being provided at four major hospitals.

He shared the plan of construction of Polyclinic II hospital in Sector G-11, new emergency ward at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) and a new hospital at Sarai Kharbuza to expand health facilities to locals.