PM approves establishment of national, provincial and divisional level Crossing Point Task Forces

KARACHI: The Anti-Smuggling Steering Committee (ASSC) meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved establishment of national, provincial and divisional level Crossing Point Task Forces, as well as integration of Anti-Smuggling and Trade data with a central database to eliminate transportation of smuggled goods into the country and further distribution of the same.

The Ministry of Interior would lead the project with the assistance of Federal Board of Revenue, Ministry of Commerce, Narcotics Control, Ministry of Food, Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Defense and provincial chief secretaries.

PM Imran Khan approved sequential control over smuggling of Iranian oil into country and directed that concerned authorities must ensure that enforcement agencies are not party to smuggling.

There are several competent and well reputed officers in Pakistan Customs Service (PCS), whom can be utilized foe an effective and efficient anti-smuggling initiative. These officers include Falak Sher, Nausheen Riaz, Akbar Jan, Tausef Gorchani, Muhammad Faisal, Inamullah Wazir, Shoib Raza, Amjad Rajpar, Muhammad Adnan, Shahid Rizvi.

The meeting held recently, also approved the proposal regarding sanctioning of 2,018 posts for Border Management Initiative (BMI).

The committee also approved Logistics & Equipment Requirement under BMI of Pakistan Customs including Purchase and funds for Procurement of vehicles (double cabins) and Coasters from FY 2020-21 budget; Procurement of Motorbikes from present available funds; Procurement of proposed weapons, bullet proof jackets, and sniffer dogs by FBR through its own resources during Financial year 2019-20.

A Technical & Procurement Sub Committee was formed to prioritize and finalize all the technical equipment / information technology requirements for all agencies. The sub-committee comprises representative of FBR/Pakistan Customs (Convener) and representatives of Ministry of Interior, ex MO Directorate, ex NRTC.

It was also decided that the subcommittee will study borders in different regions for assessment of latest equipment installed and trainings required.

The meeting also decided to create Directorate General of Law & Prosecutions as part of Customs BMI, and enforcement of strict disciplinary /administrative actions against all officers/officials dealing with Anti-smuggling activities.

The Anti-Smuggling Steering Committee made security clearance of customs officials mandatory before appointment on critical posts through a mechanism involving data sharing among NADRA, MI, ISI, FIA and IB.

Further, Government of KP will be in lead to execute Alternative Economic Model presented by MO Dte through special project manager, 11 Corps will assist.

In Balochistan, HQ Southern Command/ Army will be in lead (preferably) duly assisted by provincial government in the anti smuggling initiative. Each Provincial government will establish dedicated cell / PMU to implement evaluate and monitor the progress under respective CMs.

Campaign plan/ timelines for implementation of recommendation s will be set by respective stakeholders with concurrence of PM office. Detailed presentation given by DG, MO Dte regarding Border Bazars and Economic Zones which was approved in principle.

DG, MO Dte will consult and finalize prioritization and budgetary allocation with Ministry of Commerce and Provincial Governments of KP and Balochistan. Financial overlay with priority for different Zones will be supported by federal and provincial governments (through ADP & PSDP) as proposed by MO Dte:-

(1) Total financial overlay of recommend initiatives for Newly Merged Districts of KP is – Rs. 2.265 Bn (to be adjusted within Tribal Decade Strategy).

(2) Total Financial overlay of recommended initiatives for Balochistan is – Rs. 52.69 Bn. Owing to financial crunch this amount has been spread over 3-6 Financial years (or earlier depending upon financial sit) with priority accorded to areas requiring special attention in terms of threat and progress of fencing as under: – (a) Priority I – Zhob & Mand Regions – Rs. 23.29 Bn. (b) Priority II – Dalbadin Region- Rs. 7.17 Bn. (c) Priority III –Taftan Region- Rs. 10.03 Bn. (d) Priority IV – Rest of Balochistan – Rs. 12.20 Bn.

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