Senate Committee Requests One Time Compensation for Old Arms Shipments

The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce and Textile Industry has recommended the Ministry of Commerce to take due measures for clearing the 55 arm and ammunition shipments lying with the Customs authorities at the port in favor of the importers.

The ministry was directed to respond to this recommendation positively and the petitioners were asked to take up the matter in light of the Committee’s recommendations in Islamabad High Court Order at the earliest if the ministry failed to implement the recommendations of the Committee.

A meeting in this regard was held under the Chairmanship of Leader of the House Senator Syed Shibli Faraz at the Parliament House on Thursday and was attended by Senators Nauman Wazir Khattak, Nuzhat Sadiq, Secretary Commerce, and other officials.

Secretary Commerce told the Committee that the import policy allowing arms and ammunition expired in 2015 and all parties were given a time period of two years to get done with all their contracts. These shipments reached the port after the policy expired.

The Committee, however, was of the view that if a compensation was given to some importers back in 2015 then a one-time relief can be given to these 55 shipments with a warning that it should not happen again. The members of the Committee called for promoting documented arms and ammunition industry and facilitating them within the ambit of law so that smuggling can be reduced.

The Committee was also given a brief overview of the new Strategic Trade Policy Framework and new policy initiatives relating to tariffs, trade, and investments for the next five years. It may be noted that after elevation to the office of Leader of the House in the Senate, this was the last meeting conducted by Senator Shibli Faraz as its chairman.

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