PM orders crackdown against smugglers of essential goods

Federal cabinet endorses National Security committee’s decisions

ISLAMABAD: The prime minister Shehbaz Sharif has ordered crackdown against smugglers of the essential goods out of the country. Meanwhile, the federal government has decided to impose heavy fines and two years imprisonment on the smugglers of four essential items, namely wheat, flour, sugar, and fertilizers.
The prime minister chaired a high level meeting regarding smuggling of the essential goods. The prime minister said that smuggling of the essential goods would not be accepted, directing the authorities concerned to start operation against smugglers immediately. The prime minister ordered that anti-smuggling strategy should be devised within two days and presented before him.
The prime minister ordered that the number of the check posts in borders areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan should be increased. He also ordered that the number of judges and prosecutors in anti-smuggling courts should also be increased for timely decision to curb smuggling and hoarding of essential goods.
Meanwhile, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) issued Notification 945(I)/2023 , declaring wheat, flour, sugar, and fertilizers. As essential items under the powers granted by the Customs Act of 1969.
A senior FBR officer explained that the FBR has formulated the Customs Act of 1969 in line with the 1977 Act, through which the government has initially declared wheat, flour, sugar, and urea as essential goods. This step will enable stringent action against elements involved in the smogging of these items.
The FBR officials added that currently, only a list of four items has been notified as essential goods, but the list of essential goods will expand in the future, with more items being declared essential. After notifying these items as essential goods, the FBR officials further elaborated that those involved in smuggling them out of the country will face severe penalties under the Customs Act, Section 156, and those who are found guilty of smuggling any of these items out of the country will face harsh punishments.


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