PM orders crackdown against sale of smuggled oil products

Says independent working of institutions benefit nation; terms accountability crucial for civilised society

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered a crackdown on elements involved in sale of smuggled petroleum products, inflicting a loss of Rs150 billion per annum to the national exchequer.

The prime minister ordered this while chairing a high-level meeting, which was attended by top civil and military officials.

He said that the economy is suffering irreparable loss due to the menace of smuggling and called for final action against elements involved in such illegal acts. He approved an action plan, according to which a crackdown will be launched against illegal petroleum outlets, FIRs will be registered against their owners, their properties will be forfeited, and heavy fines will be imposed.

The prime minister resolved that the money recovered from the anti-smuggling drive will be spent on the public.

A report about trade of smuggled petroleum products in the country was presented to the premier during the meeting. The meeting was informed that the country is deprived of an estimated revenue of Rs150 billion per annum due to sale of smuggled oil. As many as 2,094 fuel stations were found to be involved in the sale of smuggled petroleum products in three provinces.

Separately in a series of tweets on Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that total recoveries by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in 2019 and 2020 amount to Rs389 billion in comparison to previous 10 years (2008-2018) recoveries of Rs104 billion. He termed the decade before Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) came into power as the “dark ages under corrupt rulers”.

He said that following facts “reveal how the nation benefits when state institutions are allowed to function independently without political interference.” He said that the anti-graft authority recovered Rs206 billion in 27 months in comparison to only Rs3 billion in the past decade in Punjab. “These are clear indications of accountability working when institutions are independent,” the prime minister maintained.

Separately in a meeting of the party’s and government spokespersons on Monday, PM Imran has directives to highlight corruption cases of the opposition leaders, besides elaborating the achievements of the incumbent government.

The PM said that the process of accountability will be continued which is crucial for the development of a civilised society. He said that the opposition leaders joined hands to resist the accountability process.

While slamming the PDM leadership, the premier said that the opposition leaders have risked the lives of the nationals amid the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. He directed the spokespersons to highlight corruption cases of the opposition leaders for making the nationals aware of their tactics to loot the national treasury.

He also instructed them to highlight the performance of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government including the positive economic indicators. He added that the federal government will be more focused on further improving its performance this year.

The meeting decided to respond to the propaganda of the opposition alliance, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), on every forum. The meeting agreed to give a full response to the opposition parties in the upcoming Senate elections.

In yet another meeting with Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, the prime minister discussed the regional security situation, India’s ceasefire violations on the Line of Control (LoC) and its negative effects on the region.

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