Zero tolerance policy to be adopted to combat smuggling: Ijaz Shah

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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Interior Ijaz Shah said that smuggling is a serious problem faced in Pakistan and the sole purpose of formation of this committee is to ensure that this menace can be eradicated.

The second meeting of Anti-smuggling Steering Committee that was formed on 1st july 2019 on Prime Minister’s directives was held yesterday under the Chairmanship of Minister for Interior and Minister for Maritime Affairs in the Committee Room of Ministry of Interior.

All the four sub-committees submitted comprehensive action plans on assigned TORs.

The interior minister expressed surprise that for seventy years, the subject of smuggling remained neglected despite massive loss to the economy of the country.

The Minister for Maritime Affairs said that smuggling through sea and issue of illegal jetties which was causing loss of billions of dollars in exports of fisheries and is a major issue.

The Secretary Interior gave detailed briefing on coordination mechanism among Customs, Civil Armed Forces, Law Enforcement Agencies in the area of anti-smuggling operations and developing synergy at policy and operational level. Secretary Commerce highlighted the tariff anomalies and steps required to regulate Afghan Transit trade. Secretary Interior presented a detailed proposal on digitization of trade and smuggling data.

Minister of Interior stressed on collaboration between Provincial and Federal Governments agencies mounting of vessel monitory system on Boats / Ships and enhancement of export of fisheries to the tune of US $ 1 billion.

In order to ensure efficient control, the committee unanimously agreed upon increased collaboration with customs and border force. The installation of advanced systems on bordering areas was also emphasized upon. The meeting concluded with a promise to come up with workable plan to execute the taken decisions.

“We have to make sure that we get rid of this problem, it has damaged our economy over the years and we cannot let it go further like this. I request all the committee members to work hand in hand with full dedication to ensure that our desired goals are achieved in time,” said Brig (R) Ijaz Ahmad Shah.

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