Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered on Tuesday a crackdown on hoarders of food items, amid a hike in sugar and flour prices in the country.
The prime minister issued the directives that the prices of essential commodities must be reduced by 15-20%. He was presiding over a high-level meeting on the prevention of smuggling of food items and others goods.
The meeting was attended by National Food Security Minister Makhdoon Khusro Bakhtiar, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Trade Adviser Abdul Razzak Dawood, interior secretary, provincial home secretaries and other senior officials.
The prime minister said that smuggling of food items leads to an increase in prices which adversely impacts a commoner.
He asked the authorities not to spare any hoarder of food items. “The interest of the poor people is above everything,” PM Khan told the participants.
“Smuggling is causing losses worth billions of rupees to the country’s economy,” he said.
“Its effective prevention is a matter of national interest and no negligence will be tolerated in this regard.”
The prime minister directed for carving out a comprehensive policy regarding oil smuggled in the country from Iran.
The matter of establishment of border markets in Balochistan also came under discussion at the meeting. The premier directed for expediting work on their establishment.
He sought a report from the Ministry of Interior on the strategy to counter smuggling within 48 hours.
Authorities were directed to devise short-, mid- and long-term policies in this regard.