PM vows strict measures to curb hoarding, smuggling

—— Orders enhanced surveillance at irregular border crossings
—— Instructs for full utilization of natural resources
—— Calls for strict measures to curtail illegal Mining
—— Directs for early conclusion of PIA restructuring plan

By Ali Asghar Mubarak

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Tuesday directed the customs authorities to establish a monitoring system at irregular border crossings to prevent smuggling in the country.
Chairing a meeting held in Islamabad, the prime minister was given a detailed briefing by the Ministry of Commerce. The meeting discussed several measures to discourage smuggling and promote trade through legal channels in the country.
PM Kakar was informed about various proposed plans to expand the country’s export volume besides possible steps to curb smuggling in the country.
Various aspects of trade under the Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement were also reviewed in the briefing. The meeting presented the recommendation to improve better scanning and monitoring capacities of the traded goods. Separately, PM Kakar directed the authorities concerned to take effective measures for full utilisation of the country’s immense natural resources. The instructions came during a meeting to discuss the matters pertaining to the Petrole-um Division.
The premier said that the development of road infrastructure was equally essential to ensure access to the natural reserves. Calling for strict measures to curb illegal mining, he instructed fulfilling all legal formalities for early appoint-ment of the head of the Oil and Gas Development Authority.
In the briefing, the prime minister was told that the Petroleum Division was working to enhance oil and gas production besides striving to explore more natural resources. The pipeline network was being laid to supply oil and gas from different reserves and the foreign investment in the mining sector was also on a positive trajectory.
Interim Petroleum Minister Muhammad Ali, Advisor to PM Ahad Cheema and other relevant senior officers attended the meeting.
Moreover, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Tuesday directed to present the detailed plan with re-gard to the restructuring of PIA to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) as soon as possible. Chairing a high level meeting regarding Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the prime minister also directed to take measures to further improve the air connection of remote areas with other cities of the country. He said the flight timings of PIA should be fixed according to convenience of the passengers. PIA is an important na-tional institution that had provided splendid air services in past and earned positive image across the globe, he said adding that PIA was considered one of the best airlines in the world.
He asked the aviation division and the PIA management to work day and night to regain past glory of the airline.
The meeting was told that the recent amendment in the PIA Act 2016 had paved the way for the restructuring of PIA.
Caretaker Minister for Finance Dr Shamshad Akhtar, Advisor to PM Ahad Cheema and other officials attended the meeting.