ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly was informed Thursday that the government has taken a number of steps to control the smuggling of luxury vehicles.

Finance Minister Saleem H. Mandviwala told the House during question hour that the vehicles were being smuggled in the country through unauthorized routes and borders with Afghanistan and Iran. He said that a joint anti-smuggling team has been constituted by pooling up different resources for impounding smuggled vehicles. The Minister said Special Help Desks have been set up in the Collect orates and Regional Directorates for immediate response on information pertaining to smuggled vehicles. He said SMS based Vehicles Verification System has been development for spot verification of vehicles suspected to be smuggled.  Saleem H. Mandviwala said that during the last five years 5937 vehicles have been confiscated and 80 people apprehended. He said an amount of 144 million rupees have also been recovered in this regard.

To a question, Minister of State for Interior Imtiaz Safdar Warraich told the House that there is no delay in the issuance of Computerized National Identity Cards to the applicants and all the identity cards are being issued to the applicants within the prescribed time frame.

He said the prescribed time for issuance of CNIC to Executives is nine days, urgent 23 days and for normal 31 days but the cards are being issued earlier than the prescribed period. He said 93.5m cards have been issued so far. Responding to a question, Minister of State for Interior Imtiaz Safdar Warraich informed the House that quackery has emerged as serious health threat in all parts of the country due to lack of proper legislation in this regard.  He said a bill will be introduced in the House during the current session to address the issue. He said after the proper legislation we will be able to control the issue of quackery and address other health related issues in a better way in the country.  Minister of State for Interior in response to a question said that there is no proposal under consideration to start visa free travel of diplomats and businessmen between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

To another question, Finance Minister Saleem H. Mandviwala told the House that an amount of 900 million rupees has been allocated for the Normal Annual Development Programme (Emergent Flood Schemes) under the Public Sector Development Programme 2012-13.