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Pakistan

NA body seeks another briefing on Pak-Afghan transit trade

  • The Afghan side had not been forthcoming in holding of APTTCA meeting as the last one was held in February, 2016.
13 Oct 2020

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly's Committee on Commerce Monday expressed dissatisfaction over the briefing given by the Commerce Ministry on the Afghan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) 2010 and sought another comprehensive one.

The committee met with Syed Naveed Qamar here at the Parliament House discussed in detail the challenges and issues in the transit trade with Afghanistan, lessons learnt from past agreements, proposals of both the countries and the way forward.

A senior Commerce Minister informed the the committee that the Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) was an obligatory transport of cargo from / to Pakistan ports to Afghanistan under Article V of GATT 1947, Convention on Transit Trade of Landlocked States 1965 and United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982.

The APTTA was concluded keeping in view the best international practices and advances made in the fields of information technology, logistics and customs procedures, he added.

The committee was told that as opposed to the previous agreement (1965), the APTTA 2010 was based on complete reciprocity, access to Pakistani exports to Central Asian states through Afghanistan and formal arrangement in form of Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority (APTTCA) to ensure effective its implementation.

The official said despite repeated requests, the Afghan side had not been forthcoming in holding of APTTCA meeting as the last one was held in February, 2016.

He said the Afghan side had shared proposals for revision of the APTTA in June, 2020, and the Ministry of Commerce had firmed up its comments after stakeholder’s consultations in that regard.

Committee Chairman Syed Naveed Qamar directed the Ministry of Commerce and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to address the duty structure flaws in all custom related matters and weak anti-smuggling mechanism in consultation with the departments concerned.

The meeting was attended by NA members Muhammad Yaqoob Shaikh, Ali Khan Jadoon, Khurram Shehzad, Ms Wajiha Akram, Ms Sajida Begum, Ms Farukh Khan,Usman Ibrahim, Rana Iradat Shareef Khan, Rasheed Ahmed Khan and Syed Javed Shah Jilani. MNAs Ms Shandana Gulzar Khan, Dr Haider Ali Khan and Mohsin Dawar Khan attended the meeting as special invitees.