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Petrol smuggling should end in a week, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed warns of repercussions

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  • Media campaign to be launched to create awareness on smuggling, says Sheikh Rasheed
  • People to be encouraged to report sale, smuggling, and use of illegal petrol
  • Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed expects curbs on petrol smuggling to save govt approximately $2 billion
  • Says past efforts to stop smuggling of mobile phones and garments helped govt

ISLAMABAD: Petrol smuggling should end within one week, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said Wednesday according to the APP, strongly warning of repercussions if stations did not heed the directive.

Sheikh Rasheed, while talking about illegal trade that was undermining national economy, explained that he was optimistic that such a measure — an "important political decision", according to him — alone would save the PTI regime some $2 billion.

Speaking to the media after a meeting on anti-smuggling measures, especially pertaining to the oil industry, the interior minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan had tasked him to ensure that the sale of smuggled petrol across Pakistan ended immediately.

Chaired by PM Imran Khan, the meeting was attended by the ministers of finance and maritime affairs, as well as PM's commerce adviser, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairperson, and senior officials.

Rasheed said the premier was appreciative of the FBR's role in curbing the smuggling of mobile phones into Pakistan in the past, thereby, saving revenue worth $2 billion and more by enforcing a check on smuggled garments.

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It not only led to a growth in revenue but also boosted Pakistan's textile industry despite the coronavirus pandemic, he said, adding that a media campaign would be launched to create awareness among the masses.

That media campaign, Sheikh Rasheed added, would also encourage people to report sale, smuggling, and use of illegal petrol. If petrol pumps did not stop this practice, their licenses may be revoked and they would not be allowed to continue operations.

The federal minister added that PM Imran Khan had tasked the FBR to curb smuggling worth $7 billion that was eroding the national wealth.


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