‘High rate of customs duty hinders Pak-Afghan trade’
Trucks carrying Afghan transit trade supply are waiting for custom clearance at Pak-Afghan border.

PESHAWAR: The Business community demanded the removal of hurdles to Pak-Afghan transit trade and urged the authorities concerned to take pragmatic measures to resolve them amicably.

The problems were taken up during a meeting of Pak-Afghan Liaison Committee held at Directorate of Transit Trade at Customs House in Peshawar under the chairmanship of Director General, Directorate General of Transit Trade, Karachi, Sarfaraz Ahmed.

President of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Faiz Muhammad Faizi and President of the Frontier Customs Agents Group (FCAG) and member of the liaison committee, Ziaul Haq Sarhadi also attended the meeting.

Director Transit Trade Faiz Ali, Additional Collector Customs Torkham Arbab Hamid Qaiser, Deputy Director Transit Trade Inamullah Wazir, Commercial Attaché’ Afghan Consulate Karachi, Mohammad Naeem Safi, Incharge NLC Torkham Col A Sattar, Additional Director Transit Trade Faisal Bokhari, Jan Bahadur, Mohammad Tayyab, Aamir Khan from TDAP, Inspector Customs Mehmood Hassan and Pakistan Afghan Joint Chamber Secretary-General Ms Faiza Zubair were present in the meeting.

Faiz Muhammad Faizi while speaking on the occasion mentioned the technical glitches in Web-based One Customs System, lack of facilities, coupled with de-sealing of reverse cargo from Afghanistan at Wagah border are the major issues creating hurdles in Afghan transit trade.

SCCI chief hailed the government decision to keep open the Torkham border around the clock from August 15 this year. However, he urged the National Logistic Cell to construct a state of the art terminal to overcome the issue of long queues during the clearance of the goods consignments at the Torkham border.  He also said that the issues in the way of exports via Afghanistan to Central Asian Republic countries should be resolved.

Ziaul Haq Sarhadi on the occasion demanded the further members from the private sector and key-stakeholders should be included to the Pak-Afghan Liaison committee. He expressed concern over Alex Load Regime enforced by the government, because of which exporters and business community are being faced with enormous difficulties.

He explained that the containerized policy had implemented across the board in the country. But, he said there was a disparity in carrying weights at Torkham and Chaman border under the containerized policy, which should be equalized to not hurt trade with Afghanistan and other regional countries