FinMin vows to continue anti-smuggling operations

Aurangzeb condemns killing of Customs officials in DI Khan

Our Correspondent April 22, 2024
Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb. PHOTO: APP


Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb said on Sunday Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Pakistan Customs were undeterred by the killing to two officials in Dera Ismail Khan and would continue their anti-smuggling operations for the elimination of this menace from the country.

According to a statement issued by the finance ministry, the minister, who is currently in Washington for talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a fresh package for Pakistan, strongly condemned the firing incident of on Customs Officials, while performing anti-smuggling duties.

He expressed deep grief and sorrow over the martyrdom of two officials of the Customs Department. He said that the sacrifices of these martyrs would not go in vain and expressed resolve that the smugglers will be dealt with iron hands.

Aurangzeb is in Washington on the occasion of the spring meetings of the IMF-World Bank. During the past week he held bilateral talks with senior officials of IMF, World Bank, international financial institutions (IFCs), rating agencies as well as the US administration.

Addressing a news conference along with Pakistan Ambassador to the United States Masood Khan on Saturday, Aurangzeb said that Pakistan was looking to enter into a larger and extended programme with the IMF and that his negotiations with international financial institutions in Washington were positive.

He said that Pakistan’s stock market witnessed a historical bullish trend in recent days due to positive indicators of economy. He emphasised Pakistan was heading towards financial stability, adding that the mechanism regarding tax collection was also being improved through reforms.

Earlier, talking to Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) President Jin Liqun, Aurangzeb identified broadening of the tax base, fixing the energy sector, and undertaking state-owned enterprise (SOE) reforms as key priorities of the government.

The finance minister briefed the AIIB president about Pakistan’s positive economic indicators, including improvement in foreign exchange reserves, a stable currency, declining inflation rates, and a surging stock market.

The minister also met with International Finance Corporation Managing Director Makhtar Diop. He noted an uptick in IFC activities in the country and sought the corporation’s support in shifting the government’s Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) into the Public-Private Partnerships.
The minister also met with Deputy Under Secretary for International Finance at the US Department of Treasury Brent Neiman and briefed him on Pakistan’s positive economic indicators in the wake of the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) signed with the IMF last year.



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