The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is taking steps to prevent sugar smuggling and ensure sufficient availability in the domestic market.
According to a presentation by the FBR, 2,059 metric tonnes of sugar were seized in Balochistan and 70 metric tonnes in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa during the first nine months of the current fiscal year.
Customs officials have been focusing their efforts on curbing the smuggling of sugar from Pakistan to Afghanistan, and have seized sugar worth Rs. 248 million in 77 cases despite limited resources.
The FBR identified several challenges faced by Customs officials in their anti-smuggling efforts, including a shortage of enforcement personnel in Balochistan, protests and pressure from local mobs and administration, lack of assistance from LEAs without senior level intervention, and the use of transport permits issued by local administration to smuggle sugar out of the country. The FBR also stated that locally produced goods like sugar, wheat, and fertilizer should only be intercepted at the border or within a 15-kilometre perimeter, as ordered by the FTO.
Customs has deployed personnel at several Customs stations on the Pak-Afghan border, including Chaman, Torkham, Kharlachi, Ghulam Khan, and Angoor Adda.
These stations scan and check cargo for imports and exports, and legal action is taken in cases where bags of sugar are found concealed beneath other goods. However, the Rakhshan Division in Balochistan remains a major route for sugar smuggling, where Customs has no presence on the porous border. In this case, enforcement is carried out on commodities transported through established check posts on main roads. Other law enforcement agencies also have several check posts on roads leading to the border and Customs stations.