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PESHAWAR: Traders during a joint meeting of Pak-Afghan apprised the officials concerned regarding trade-related issues and suggested a number of proposals for their amicable resolution.

According to details, a meeting of Pak-Afghan traders held at Torkham Border to discuss the hurdles in the way of mutual trade between the two countries, said in a press release issued on Sunday.

The meeting was chaired by the newly appointed Chief Collector Customs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Fayyaz Anwar.

On the occasion, the participants held a thorough discussion on the performance of various relevant public sector institutions along with the problems of the business community on both sides of Pak-Afghan bilateral trade.

Apart from the Collector Customs Operations Peshawar Muhammad Ashfaq, Additional Collector Customs Torkham Muhammad Rizwan, Additional Collector Customs Peshawar Rizwan Mehmood, Deputy Collector Operations Torkham Asma Javed, Assistant Collectors Torkham Imad Mohib, Superintendent Siddique Akbar and PRO Customs Deptt Sohail, Coordinator and Director of PAJCCI Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, President of KCCI Syed Jawad Hussain Kazmi and Torkham Customs Agents Association members were participated in the meeting.

During the meeting, Chief Collector Customs KP Fayyaz Anwar was briefed by Customs staff Torkham who also visited along with Collector Customs Peshawar Muhammad Ashfaq the newly constructed NLC terminal project.

The senior officials inspected various parts of the terminal along with the team and also issued instructions on the spot.

In the meeting, representatives from customs, other departments, including NLC, FC, police and other security departments suggested a number of proposals to solve the obstacles in the way of Pak-Afghan mutual trade.

Zia-ul-Haq Shardi, who is also the president of Frontier Customs Agents Association (FCAA) and former senior vice-president of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) emphasized the need of making steps to remove hindrances in the way of Pak-Afghan mutual trade and transit trade.

He explained that there was no issue from the customs department at Torkham, Ghulam Khan, Kharlachi border.

He, however, said the border management, other institutions took much time on checking, saying that the slow process has caused great difficulties for the business community.

Sarhadi said while the transit trade containers were cleared within 10 to 12 days at Karachi Port.

On the other hand, he added, demurrage charges were imposed on the containers due to the slow process.

He said that despite official orders of cross-stuffing, the directives have not been implemented and detention charges of lakhs of rupees were also levied on each container.

The FCCA president suggested that Afghan transit trade goods should be carried out from Karachi to Torkham through Pakistan Railways along with a bonded carrier service.

He urged the authorities concerned to allow filing of GD [Goods Documents] at Azakhel Dry port so that the customs clearing agents of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province can also continue their business.

Apart from all that, the meeting also discussed other issues.

Chief Collector Customs Fayaz Anwar assured the delegation of taking all possible support and cooperation for trade cross border trade facilitation.

The senior official said that the customs department knew about problems of the business community and assured all issues would be resolved on priority grounds.

Fayaz Anwar fully agreed with the recommendations presented by the delegation in the meeting while all the delegation thanked them for taking keen interests of business community issues and giving assurance for their amicable resolution.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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