Friday May 20, 2022

Exports to Afghanistan fall 35pc

January 22, 2022

PESHAWAR: Pakistan’s export to Afghanistan have declined around 35 percent during the period starting from September to December 2021 on Afghan crises and consignments’ clearance issues at Pakistani side, said Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) on Friday.

Businessmen associated with Pak-Afghan trade said commercial activities between the two countries were lying suspended as the border authorities stopped clearance of goods-laden trucks in the wake of a notification issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

SBP, in its earlier notification, allowed exports to Afghanistan after obtaining payment from Afghan traders in dollars. However, the central bank issued another notification wherein the last date was changed from December 31 to December 13, causing a halt in the clearance of goods laden trucks at Torkhem border post, they added.

“Due to the non-issuance of Form E and Form I by the SBP, a large number of fully loaded trucks are standing in a queue at both sides of the border post waiting for clearance. The border authorities are refusing to clear the trucks in the wake of the issuance of the new notification from the SBP,” said Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi, vice president at PAJCCI in a joint press statement with Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Peshawar.

They said businessmen dealing in trade between the two countries had prepared large consignments, which were passing through the process of passage but had stuck at the border owing to a change of date in the notification of the SBP.

Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi said exports to Afghanistan from Pakistan had shown a drastic decline in the last four months of 2021 as Afghanistan was faced with severe economic crisis and banks there didn’t have dollars. He also urged the SBP to continue with its earlier policy of allowing up to 180 days for export proceeds.