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Waiver of duty on imports from Afghanistan urged

Waiver of duty on imports from Afghanistan urged

Jan 16, 2018 - 10:34

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) has asked Islamabad to withdraw the regulatory duty on imports from Afghanistan.

PAJCCI Chairman Zubair Motiwala issued the call during a meeting with Miftah Ismail, adviser to the prime minister on finance, revenue and economic affairs.

According to The News International, the issue of regulatory duty on imports from Afghanistan was raised at the meeting. Private sector and government officials of both countries should meet to help sort out issues.

The Finance Ministry was urged to evaluate the effects of recent political turmoil on bilateral and transit trade, which has been on a nosedive in the last three years.

Motiwala estimated the annual trade potential between the two countries at $5 billion. Lately, however, it has fallen from $2.5 billion to $1.6 billion because of bilateral tensions.

Recent figures show a rise in Afghanistan's trade with Iran and a corresponding decline in business with Pakistan, the PAJCCI chairman explained.

Frequent border closures, heavy demurrages, uncertainty and diversion of bilateral and transit trade to other avenues were causing psychological rifts and resulting in long-run instability, he continued.

Advisor Miftah Ismail agreed to convene a meeting with the ambassador of Afghanistan in the context of pending Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority and Joint Economic Commission.

He also promised support from the ministry to the private sector in expanding exports and developing fruitful trade ties in the region. He will raise the issues of waiver of regulatory duties and demurrage applied during border closures with the ministry of commerce.