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PESHAWAR: Director Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI), Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi has demanded early implementation of pledges being made with the business community regarding expediting Pak-Afghan trade.

A press release issued here on Sunday stated that Zia Sarhadi and SVP PAJCCI, Khalid Shezad said during recently held meetings of stakeholders arranged by Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) in Peshawar, Islamabad and Chaman (Balochistan) a number of assurances were given to businessmen regarding their demands raised in connection with hindrances causing delay in smooth sailing of trade.

In the meetings different issues were raised including high labour charges, mishandling of cargo while loading and unloading issues on Afghan side including tax on transit goods, slow clearance rate of empty containers, restricted hours at border crossing for clearance and movement, delay & high rejection of visa processing for Afghan businessmen, pendency of 47,000 TI forms by Afghan side since a year despite several reminders and communication.

They added that another significant issue was slow processing at Karachi for goods which previously took a day or 2 but now 5-6 days on minimum, leading to increased time and cost of doing business as delayed returns are affected by detention and demurrage charges further aggravated by rising fuel prices and dollar parity.

The issue of destuffing of containers at Pakistan still persists despite issuance of notification for allowing the practice, they continued.

The PAJCCI office bearers requested the concerned officials of different departments including FBR, Customs, NLC, shipping and ports and others to take measures for early removal of hindrances so that the process of trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan expedited up to required level.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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