As the lead counter-smuggling agency, Pakistan Customs, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has taken concrete steps to curb the menace of smuggling in accordance with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Its measures have been yielding excellent results and providing a better environment for the growth of the local economy and industry.
It seized smuggled goods worth Rs. 35 billion during the last seven months (July 2020 — January 2021) of the current financial year (FY), thus showing an increase of 59 percent as compared to the corresponding period (July 2019 — January 2020) of the last FY when smuggled goods worth Rs. 22 billion were seized. Moreover, the counter-smuggling performance of the seven months of the current FY is almost equal to the performance of the 12 months of the last FY when it had seized smuggled items worth Rs. 36 billion.
During the current FY, the increase in the value of seized goods as compared to the last FY has been recorded in Non-Custom Paid (NCP) vehicles worth Rs. 11.3 billion (66 percent), betel nuts worth Rs. 3.4 billion (105 percent), fabrics worth Rs. 1.9 billion (28 percent), cigarettes worth Rs. 553 million (70 percent), auto parts worth Rs. 492 million (113 percent), electronic goods worth Rs. 380 million (67 percent), diesel worth Rs. 899 million (93 percent), and gold/silver bars/jewellery worth Rs. 271 million (104 percent).
The FBR has made significant seizures of endangered wild falcons, liquor, and narcotics in the current financial year. Pakistan Customs also played a vital role in the seizure of six million tonnes of iodine to be used in the manufacture of the illicit drug methamphetamine, which was commended by international agencies like the UNODC and the US DEA Office.
Moreover, the recent operation led by Pakistan Customs against illegal POL outlets has also been successful in combating the menace of smuggling through the sealing of more than 2000 illegal outlets all over the country and by initiating criminal proceedings against the perpetrators.
Owing to such landmark undertakings, the local industry is progressing as the flow of smuggled goods has decreased drastically during the current financial year.
Stringent measures have also been adopted to stop the reverse flow of smugglable items from unfrequented routes, thus resulting in the increase of such items in imports. These extraordinary counter-smuggling performance show the FBR’s commitment to combating smuggling and to promoting trade and the local industry.