Smuggling, a hazard for economy

THE flood of smuggled goods available in our markets gives the impression that it has become a routine part of our economic activities which hardly raises any eyebrows nor stirs the slightest fear of the law — something which is harming the economy in multidimensional manners as it not only undermines the local industry but also discourages legal imports and reduces the volume of revenue collected from duties and levies by the state.
According to startling revelations, the FBR is annually suffering a loss of Rs 25b on account of sale of smuggled textile items amounting to $4b. According to some other statistics, different textile products worth $14 to $16b are making their way into Pakistani markets. Apart from textile items, our markets are also permeated with smuggled goods of all descriptions inflicting unimaginable loss to the national economy. The situation warrants that the government shakes up the relevant departments in order to check this menace. In current scenario when heavy deployment has been made along the borders with Afghanistan, the security personnel may also be tasked not only to check transportation of arms and weapons but also these smuggled goods. For security purpose in Balochistan, a trench was also dug along the border with Afghanistan. We believe this should be further expanded and manned properly in order to stop drug trafficking and other illegal activities. Similarly strict measures could also been enforced in other borders areas with India and China. There is no denying the fact that this illegal business cannot flourish without the connivance of corrupt officials including those in law enforcement agencies. Everyone is aware of it but no action is being taken against them. The impact of such revenue leakages only impacts the lives of common man as to fill these gaps the government only resorts to imposition of more taxes or tries to balance the losses by increasing the tariff of power, gas or petroleum products. Government must take cognisance of the situation and evolve a strong mechanism to eliminate this curse for good of the country.

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