ISLAMABAD – National Assembly chairman Asad Qaiser has stressed implementing the recommendations of the executive committee of the Pak-Afghanistan Friendship Group to fully realize the country’s export potential.
“Promoting exports is critical to Pakistan’s economic stability and development, because Afghanistan by location is a preferred export destination, apart from being on a transit route to Central Asia,” said the National Assembly speaker, chairing an assessment meeting of the Pakistan Parliamentary Afghanistan Friendship Group (PFG) executive committee. ). The aim of this committee is to review the implementation of decisions regarding Pak-Afghanistan Trade and visa facilitation.
The NLC representative informed the committee that container cleanings had reached an average of 1,870 per day due to the deployment of additional personnel and the rapid clearance of bound containers to Afghanistan and would be increased to 2,000 containers per day.
The speaker appreciated the performance of FBR and Customs regarding the release of containers at the Torkham and Chaman border. He directed FBR and Customs to ensure the cleanup of Afghanistan’s Transit Trade containers within a week.
He also said that easing the scanning requirements for Afghanistan Transit Trade would facilitate traders and direct the Customs Department to complete the process within a week. He directed representatives of the State Bank of Pakistan to ensure the establishment of a bank branch on the border of Angoor Adda and Ghulam Khan to facilitate traders. SBP representative informed that the Bank of Khyber and National Bank of Pakistan will set up a bank branch within the stipulated time.
He praised the cabinet’s approval of the visa liberalization policy for Afghans on the recommendation of this committee. Asked about the implementation of issues related to the dismantling of imported containers at Miran Shah instead of Ghulam Khan and the placement of FIA personnel in Ghulam Khan, Angoor Adda and Kharlachi, the speaker directed the M / o Interior secretary to immediately assess the field situation and submit the earliest reports to facilitating the Afghanistan Transit Trade.
Reviewing progress on the issue of waiving demurrage and containment fees for Afghanistan Transit Trade containers, the committee unanimously recommended to forward the matter to the Cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee. The committee also unanimously recommended bringing in a legislative bill on waiving the demurrage issue. Asking about the reduction in the number of checkpoints, the speaker directed the Special Assistant for PM Establishment to hold a meeting with the Balochistan government, stakeholders and inform the committee about the rationalization of the number of checkpoints required.
SPAM stated that the Cabinet’s recent approval of rationalization and visa liberalization policies for Afghanistan was due to the efforts and substantive considerations of this executive committee. He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan during the approval of the visa policy for Afghanistan has been directed to provide all facilities for visa seekers at the Pakistani Embassy in Kabul. Prime Minister Sadiq Khan’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan said that the coordination of the FBR and NLC was very important to facilitate transit traders. MNA Mohsin Darwar and Shahdana Gulzar Khan suggested field visits to Torkham, Chamman and Angoor Adda, in addition to providing retrospective legislation on the waiver of demurrage issues.
MNAs Mohsin Darwar, Salahuddin Ayubi, Shandana Gulzaar, Sajida Begum, senior officials from the Ministry of Trade, Home Affairs, National Food Security, Maritime, Foreign Affairs, State Bank of Pakistan, FBR and KPK and Balochistan Government Representatives attended the meeting.
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