Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the concerned authorities to launch a massive crackdown on anti-trafficking nationwide to reduce food prices and provide relief to the people.
According to the official news agency APP, a decision was taken to stop the smuggling of food items and other goods during a high-level meeting chaired by the Prime Minister in Islamabad.
In a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office on social networking website Twitter, Prime Minister Imran said at the meeting that the common man was suffering due to the increase in prices as a result of smuggling of food items. In any case not acceptable.
He said that smuggling was causing billions of dollars worth of damage to the national economy.
Imran Khan said, "Effective prevention of smuggling is a matter of national interest and therefore no shortage will be tolerated in this regard".
At the meeting, Minister of National Food Security and Research Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Omar, Business Adviser Abdul Razzaq Daud, Secretary of Interior, Secretary National Food Security, Acting Chairman, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). Including provincial home secretaries and other top officials.
The Prime Minister directed the Home Ministry, federal and provincial law enforcement agencies, FBR and provincial governments to launch joint operations for anti-trafficking.
In addition, Imran Khan ordered the Interior Ministry to submit a report based on the actions to be taken with a comprehensive strategy within the next 48 hours.
The Prime Minister also directed the authorities to initiate short-term, medium-term and long-term measures in line with the Task Force's recommendations set forth to prevent trafficking.
The Intelligence Bureau (IB), the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) were instructed to submit monitoring reports of the anti-trafficking crackdown permanently.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Imran directed to accelerate progress on the establishment of border markets in Balochistan.
The Prime Minister further instructed the authorities to formulate a comprehensive policy on Iranian petroleum products and use technology in efforts to curb smuggling.
It should be noted that a few days ago, Prime Minister Imran Khan claimed responsibility for the recent sugar and flour crisis.
He said that I accept the government's deficiency in the recent sugar and flour crisis and that strict action will be taken against those responsible for the crisis.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that 'an investigation is underway and no one will escape.'
It is to be noted that due to the flour and sugar crisis in the country, their prices have increased abnormally and flour is not available in different provinces and its price is out of the power of the people.
In view of the aforementioned crisis, the Economic Coordinating Committee (ECC) allowed the importation of 3 million tonnes of wheat without regulatory duty.
Federal Minister for Food Khusro Bakhtiar termed the ban on inter-provincial movement by the Punjab government and the ongoing strike of transporters in Karachi as the leading cause of the flour crisis in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.