Zero tolerance for smuggling, corruption: PM Shehbaz Sharif


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has called for joint efforts to check smuggling, power theft, and revenue evasion to put the country on path of economic stability. 

“No political and bureaucratic influence will be allowed to interfere in this major surgery which we have to undertake collectively for the good of Pakistan and its 250 million people,” the prime minister said while chairing a meeting on anti-smuggling.

The prime minister mentioned that Rs58 billion were recovered in the power sector, while smuggling was also reduced during the interim government. He said it shows that any sort of challenges can be overcome if there is a will

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said illegal trade and smuggling were the biggest challenges that had badly dented the country s economy.
He recalled that in 2022, the coalition government allowed export of 250,000 tons of sugar, but it had to withdraw its decision “because we were told that the surplus target was not up to that level”. However, he said the same amount of sugar was later exported to Afghanistan.
As regards tax revenues, he said the government s target this year was Rs 9 trillion. But it has the potential of collecting Rs 4 trillion extra revenues by streamlining the tax system and by curbing corruption and tax evasion.
He said a tax amount of Rs 2.7 trillion was still under litigation either in tribunals or in appellant courts. The government, he said would try its best to recover this amount.
Appreciating the efforts of Chief of Army Staff in curbing smuggling and power theft, the prime minister said during the nine months of interim government, an amount of Rs 58 billion was saved in power sector.
Similarly, a significant improvement was witnessed in smuggling in the country due to the commitment, will to do, and cooperation of all provinces, and the personal commitment and interest of the Chief of Army Staff, the prime minister added.
Besides initiating reforms in certain sectors, he said the government was also committed to promote industry and agriculture sector in the country.
He informed that the government had chalked out a plan to fully digitize the system of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to boost the tax revenues in the country.
As regards law and order situation, the prime minister said the government was determined to foil the evil designs of the enemy.

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