PML-Q ministers thwart Fahim’s ‘shady’ proposal on arms import


Three PML-Q ministers helped the government dodge another corruption scam when they persuaded Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and his cabinet members to defer a proposal presented by Amin Fahim-led Commerce Ministry on commercial import of non-prohibited bore weapons and ammunitions.
A source told Pakistan Today that the Commerce Ministry submitted a proposal to the cabinet meeting held on June 15 to cancel the licences of around 406 importers of non-prohibited bore weapons and ammunition. Under the proposal, after a thorough review only the licences of those importers would have been restored who “fulfilled” the government’s criteria. The proposal also said that all those restored licencees would have to be provided with an additional 10 percent quota, the source said.
He said the proposal added that Fahim could also increase the quota of some eligible importers to up to 25 percent rather than 10 percent.The source said Housing Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat objected to the proposal, saying that the proposal seemed fishy and could trigger a major corruption scam against the government.
“Riaz Pirzada also supported Hayat’s view, saying that the opposition could also use this decision as a tool against the government. Raza Hayat Hiraj also joined in and said the proposal needed to be carefully reviewed,” the source said. The PML-Q ministers told the PM that the SC had already given a verdict against discretionary powers for ministers and this proposal could also land the government in hot waters as 25 percent quota allocation was unjust and could spark a new row against the commerce minister who was already facing charges in the NICL scam.