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September 15, 2020

SCCI demands steps to boost Pak-Afghan trade

Peshawar

 
September 15, 2020

The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) on Monday asked the government to take steps to boost bilateral trade and transit trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In a statement, SCCI President Maqsood Anwar Pervaiz said the freight was charged up to Rs600,000 per cargo at the Karachi port, which was very high. He added that the exporters faced financial problems because of the bonded carriers’ monopoly but the policy brought negative impacts on the bilateral and transit trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The SCCI chief urged the government and relevant authorities to take proactive steps.

He called for introducing business-friendly policies for creating favourable working atmosphere and to minimize the cost of doing business. Maqsood Pervaiz suggested that it was needed to bring about a change in the proposed draft rule 328 about the licence of the bonded carrier to ensure security of transit cargo. He proposed that the phenomenon of a bonded carrier should be abolished in transit trade and the border agent be made responsible in the jurisdiction of each transit directorate to arrange a fleet as per their requirements through an insurance guarantee.

Meanwhile, SCCI president condemned the alleged harassment and unnecessary checking by police personnel at Zhira Checkpost on the Pak-Afghan route. He urged the provincial government, police high-ups and other relevant authorities to take notice of the issue. The mutual trade volume between Pakistan and Afghanistan was very low if the policies were not reviewed, it would witness a further decline, he added. He urged the government to take steps to remove impediments to mutual trade and transit trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan.