Illegal smuggling

The term smuggling refers to the illegal transportation of objects, substances, information or people from one area to another. In order words, it means to import or export secretly while breaking the law, especially without paying duties imposed by the law. Such acts are indeed highly harmful to any country. Firstly, the country loses a lot of money by way of unpaid taxes and duties. And secondly, industries are badly affected when foreign goods are sold at prices lower than their market price.

Over the past decade, smuggling has become a huge problem in Pakistan. The smuggling of goods to and from neighbouring countries such as Afghanistan and Iran has not only adversely affected the economy but has also created a vicious black market that feeds the illegal system present in the underbelly of society. According to reports, the volume of goods smuggled into Pakistan increased nearly threefold from 2014 to 2018. In terms of value as a share of Pakistan’s GDP, smuggling went up from 3.88% to 11.25%. It is also an open secret that smuggled goods have penetrated many different sectors and range from cellphones and fuel to daily-use items like toiletries and tea.

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Authorities should take the necessary steps to first regulate and then stop smuggling altogether.

Perpetrators need to be caught and punished while corrupt officials need to identified and penalised accordingly. Curbing this on a massive scale is indeed difficult. Therefore, concerned authorities need to systematically detangle this web and bring it down piece by piece.

ALI HASAN SHERAZI

SARGODHA

 

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