Friday November 26, 2021

Farogh sees relief for masses in new ordinance against hoarding

April 20, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Dr Farogh Naseem said on Sunday the government had promulgated an ordinance against hoarding of essential commodities amidst spread of coronavirus to protect the interest of the common man.

The new ordinance contained three-year sentence, summary trial and confiscation of the material for hoarding of wheat, sugar, flour, ghee, sanitisers, face masks and other essential items, he said while addressing a press conference here along with Parliamentary Secretary on Law and Justice Muleeka Bokhari.

The minister said the government had also prepared an anti-smuggling ordinance to stop the smuggling of dollars and essential commodities like wheat and sugar through the undeclared routes. The ordinance had been sent to the Prime Minister Office for vetting, he said, adding this law was likely to be promulgated by Monday or Tuesday.

Naseem said stern action would be taken against those found involved in smuggling of essential items. “No one will be allowed to take advantage of the current prevailing situation in the wake of coronavirus.”

He said though Customs would be a focal department to stop this practice, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would be authorised to dedicate powers to any state institution like Intelligence Bureau (IB), Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) to seek their assistance against smuggling.

The minister said district administrations had been made bound to share available information pertaining to any act of smuggling or hoarding with the relevant institution. A copy of this information would also be sent to secretary Law and Justice who would view the actions taken by the department concerned, he maintained.

Naseem said stern action would also be taken against the officers for showing negligence on the matter and added changes could be introduced in the ordinance in extraordinary situations, if necessary.

The minister said a summary trial against the culprits would be initiated in accordance with the law, adding the judges for the summary trial would be appointed with the consultation of the chief justice of Pakistan. He said his ministry was introducing laws keeping in view the current situation.