Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed Wednesday gave a one-week notice to petrol smugglers to end the practice and warned of strict punitive action against anyone found involved in the trade that was undermining national economy.
The Interior Minister described it as an “important political decision” and said he has been tasked by Prime Minister Imran Khan to ensure that the sale of smuggled petrol across the country comes to an immediate end.
He was talking to the media after attending a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan to discuss anti-smuggling measures and specifically focused on oil smuggling. The meeting was attended by Ministers of Interior, Finance, Maritime Affairs, Advisor Commerce, Chairman FBR, and senior officials.
He said the prime minister was appreciative of the role of Federal Board of Revenue – FBR in earlier curbing the smuggling of mobile phones into the country and saved a revenue of two billion dollars, besides also billions by putting a check on smuggled garments. He said this not only led to a growth in revenue, but also boosted country’s textile industry, despite the Covid19 pandemic.
He said a media campaign would also be launched to create awareness amongst the masses and to encourage them to report sale, smuggling and use of petrol brought into the country illegally.
He said within seven days all petrol pumps who were involved in this practice would face strict punitive action and their licenses would be forfeited and they would not be allowed to again operate any petrol station.
Sheikh Rashid was optimistic that this measure alone would save the government around two billion dollars. He said the FBR has been tasked by the Prime Minister to curb smuggling of US 7 billion dollars, that was eroding the national wealth.