Saturday September 18, 2021

Customs agents want stranded trucks back from Afghanistan

September 14, 2021

PESHAWAR: The Frontier Customs Agents Association has expressed concern over the detention of hundreds of trucks along with empty containers in Afghanistan and asked the government of Pakistan to take up the issue with the authorities in Kabul.

The issue was raised as a four-member delegation of the association called on first Chief Collector Customs Peshawar Ahmad Raza.Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi, the president of the association, led the delegation which greeted the official over assuming the charge of the post. Collector Customs Appraisal and Facilitation, Amjad Rehman, Collector Customs Preventive, Malik Kamran Azam Rajar, Director Transit Trade, Arbab Qaiser Hameed and Additional Collector Custom Appraisal, Muhammad Tayyab were present on the occasion.

The delegation thanked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) over accepting the demand of Frontier Custom Agents who had called for appointment of Chief Collector Customs. The delegation members hoped the problems faced by business community would be resolved now that the senior official had been posted.

The Custom officials briefed delegation members about measures taken for facilitation of the business community. Sarhadi said at present the major problem was the detention of hundreds of trucks along with empty containers in Afghanistan as a result of which a shortage of heavy vehicles was being felt in the port city of Karachi.

Due to this problem, he pointed out, the rent of a truck from Karachi to Jalalabad had shot up to Rs. 400,000 to 500,000 which used to be Rs. 150,000 normally. He said these empty trucks had started coming back after the Taliban take-over of Afghanistan last month but the practice had been stopped now once again. Sarhadi said still around 2000 to 2500 trucks along with empty containers had been stranded in Afghanistan and said to take up this issue with relevant authorities.

He said nowadays hundreds of trucks were entering Pakistan from Afghanistan with fresh fruit including grapes, apples, apricots, melons and vegetables.Sarhadi suggested to the officials of Frontier Corps and National Logistic Cell to reduce the time for checking containers as that would increase the trade. Ahmad Raza assured the delegation of his full cooperation to the business community. He said measures would be taken for resolving the businessmen’s problems with mutual consultations.