ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to treat Sahiwal Coal Power and China Hub Power Generation Companies as bonded warehouses for the purposes of Afghan coal only, which is cheaper compared to coal of far off destinations, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.
The decision has been taken by Border Management Committee, comprising Minister for Defence, Khawaja Asif (Convener), Interior Minister, Rana Sana Ullah (Member), Minister for Commerce, Syed Naveed Qamar, (Member) , Secretary Defence (Member), Secretary Interior (Member), Secretary Commerce (Member), Secretary Power (Secretary), Secretary Communications(Member), Secretary Railways (Member), Chief Secretary KP(Member), Chief Secretary, Balochistan (Member), DG MO (Member), Deputy DG (concerned) (Member), Chairman FBR (Member), Chairman Nadra (Member) and Member Customs (Member).
The ToRs of Border Management Committee are as follows: (i) to develop a mechanism for expeditious customs and security clearance at the Pak-Afghan border; (ii) to identify problems that may crop during importation inside Pakistan’s border and ensure institution of a mechanism that allows secure and hassle free transportation of coal within the country; and (iii) to remain posted on the movement of coal imported from Afghanistan within the country and resolve any problem that may hamper its transportation.
First meeting of the Boarder Management Committee was held under the convenership of Minister for Defence on June 20, 2022 wherein a Working Group under the convenership of Secretary Power Division was constituted to prepare a set of proposals for the Committee. Working Group held meetings on June 21 and June 22, 2022 and held extensive discussions.
The second meeting of the Border Management Committee was also held under the convenership of Minister for Defence on June 23, 2022 in the Committee of Power Division. Minister for Commerce also attended the meeting.
The Power Division gave a detailed presentation on the findings/outcome of the Working Group. The representative of NLC informed the forum that they have the additional trucking capacity of 300 trucks per day at Torkham and 20 each at Ghulam Khan and Khalrachi border crossing on 24/7 operation basis subject to availability of one scanner at Khalrachi. It was further noted that these numbers can cater to the needs of Sahiwal coal plant and Hub China Power Plant fully.
After detailed discussion all the members of the committee took the following decisions: (i) Ministry of Interior and FBR will immediately issue notification for 24/7 operations of Khalarchi and Ghulam Khan terminals; (ii) FBR (Customs), Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Foreign Affairs will immediately issue notification for trans-Pakistan and trans-Afghanistan movement of vehicles of both countries; (iii) FBR (Customs) will ensure 24/7 availability of Clearing Agents at BTs; (iv) Ministry of Commerce and FBR will immediately include coal vehicles in Green Channel at Ghulam Khan and Khalarchi for night operations and BTs where scanners are not installed shall not be used for the time being. This facility will be exclusive for trucks carrying coal for Sahiwal and hub China Power Plants; (v) all the agencies like FBR, NLC, FIA and CAF shall ensure development of additional human resource for smooth 24/7 operations; (vi) for facilitation on Tazkira/Passport of vehicles crew, Ministry of Interior shall hold meeting of the Border Management Committee to issue necessary instructions; (vii) FBR shall take up the matter with Afghan side for extension of WeBOC system for pre-filing; (viii) Sahiwal and China Hub Power will be treated as bonded warehouse for the purposes of Afghan coal only; (ix) an Implementation Committee (IC) has been constituted with the following composition to supervise implementation of agreed roadmap and to resolve day to day issues related to availability of Afghan Custom and other relevant departments, pre-filing of GDs to reduce dwell time, speedy clearance of inbound and outbound vehicles and expansion of infrastructure on Afghan side.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022