ECC approves Rs300 million technical grant for border markets

June 24, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet on Wednesday approved Rs300 million technical supplementary grant for proposed border markets in Gabd, Mund and Chedgi in Balochistan...

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ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Wednesday approved Rs300 million technical supplementary grant for proposed border markets in Gabd, Mund and Chedgi in Balochistan bordering Iran.

The ECC approved the technical supplementary grant of Rs300 million for allocation from public sector development program for establishment of joint border markets at Mand District Kech, Gabd district Gwadar and Chedgi, district Panjgur against Rs100 millions each.

The decision was taken during a meeting presided over by Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin. “Establishment of border sustenance markets will help to mitigate the problems faced by the people residing in border areas due to fencing and counter-smuggling measures,” an official said.

The government has introduced the mechanism in the Finance Bill 2021-22 and is now seeking approval of the parliament for making it part of taxation law. Pakistani side will establish border sustenance markets in collaboration with other neighbouring countries so the people residing at bordering areas could be facilitated.

The ECC further approved technical supplementary grant for Covid-19 response and other natural calamities control programme (Sindh component) worth Rs9.3 billion.

The ECC also approved technical supplementary grant of Rs98.7 million to meet the requirements of Frontier Corps KP (South), DI Khan under interior division.

The ECC further approved technical supplementary grant of Rs25 million for Headquarters Pakistan Rangers Islamabad under Interior Division. The ECC approved technical supplementary grant amounting to Rs39 million to Pakistan Institute of Development Economics for payment of salaries

The memorandum of understanding to establish border markets along the border was signed between Pakistan and Iran in April. The agreement was signed during Foreign Minister Mehmood Qureshi's tour to Iran. Under the agreement, Pakistan and Iran will establish border markets. In the first phase, three bazaars will be opened in the border points of Kuhak-Chadgi, Rimdan-Gabd and Pishin-Mand areas. In the second phase, border markets will be set up at three other border points.

Currently, there is an insignificant bilateral trade with Pakistan and Iran despite immense potential. Currently, the bilateral trade stands at $359 million including exports to Iran amounting to $36 million against its imports at $323 million.

Tariff and non-tariff barriers are major obstacles in the way of trade enhancement. All the four traditional transportation modes are available for bilateral trade, but unfortunately none of these modes of transportation are efficiently and economically utilised at present. Iran is ready to export petrochemical, steel and liquefied petroleum products to Pakistan in return of rice, meat and other agriculture products in a barter trade arrangement.



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