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Wednesday January 19, 2022

Customs agents’ strike enters third day

January 15, 2022

LANDIKOTAL: Hundreds of loaded trucks remained stranded at the Torkham border as the strike of the customs clearing agents entered its third day on Friday.

The Khyber Chamber of Commerce had given the call to all its affiliated customs agents associations to boycott the clearing of goods to record their protest.

An official said importers and exporters had lost millions of rupees in the past few days as hundreds of trucks loaded with different kinds of goods remained parked on both sides of the border with Afghanistan.

The traders are observing their strike against the form-e that had been made mandatory by State Bank of Pakistan for exporters and importers since December last year.

The customs officials said the national exchequer sustained billions of rupees daily losses due to the strike of the clearing agents at all border points with Afghanistan.

When contacted, chief collector customs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ahmad Raza Khan said that bilateral trade with Afghanistan had dropped after the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan. He said lack of proper trade policy by the incumbent Afghan government and falling purchasing power of the Afghan nationals were the main problems in export of Pakistani goods to Afghanistan.

The chief collector customs said trade with Afghanistan had dropped by 26 percent in the past four months. He said they were following the State Bank of Pakistan’s trade policy that had placed some new conditions for trade with Afghanistan. He said traders were bound to show US dollars to issue Form-e, which would bring foreign currency to the country. He said they would take up the reservations of the traders with the authorities to find a solution.

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