RAWALPINDI: Non-implementation of the changes approved by the PPP government in the arms and ammunitions import policy a year ago has flooded the country with contraband arms, Dawn has learnt.
A senior security official said the law enforcement agencies were worried that importers had been bringing in and marketing small as well as sophisticated weapons by manipulating the existing policy introduced in 2006-07.
That policy put a monetary ceiling, ranging between Rs100,000 and Rs20 million, on commercial arms importers. But, by under-invoicing their imports, the crafty among the 520 arms dealers in the country brought in more quantity of weapons than their monetary quota would buy them in the international arms market.
They landed their consignments at different ports so that the customs there cleared their huge consignments in excess to their monetary quota uncontested, according to sources in the security and commercial establishments.
In its last cabinet meeting held on March 7, 2013, the outgoing PPP-led government approved amendments to that policy. It changed the value-based imports to quantity-based imports of arms.
However, despite concerns raised by the Ministry of Interior and the Federal Board of Revenue over the developing alarming situation and loss of revenue, the successor PML-N government did not give a comprehensive shape to the changes and enforce them.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervaiz Rasheed was contacted for comments. He said he would be in a position to do so after consulting the concerned departments.
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