Sarhad Chamber, railways agree to boost Pak-Afghan trade

Officials discuss proposed transit trade through railways

APP September 25, 2019
Representational image of railway tracks. PHOTO: REUTERS

PESHAWAR: The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and Pakistan Railways officials have agreed to finalise modalities of the proposed transit trade operation through railways to further strengthen Pak-Afghan transit trade and mutual trade between the two countries.

In a meeting on transit trade, chaired by Director Transit Trade Faiz Ali at the Directorate of Transit Trade Customs House Peshawar on Tuesday, officials held discussions on the proposed transit trade operation through Pakistan Railways from Karachi to Peshawar and onward dispatch to Torkham.

Pakistan Railways officers assured the meeting that modalities of the proposed transit trade operation would be finalised by October 15, 2019 after discussions with SCCI representatives and other relevant stakeholders in a meeting to be held at Divisional Headquarters Pakistan Railways Peshawar on October 7, 2019.

Earlier, SCCI President Faiz Muhammad Faizi and SCCI Standing Committee on Pakistan Railways and Dry Ports Chairman Ziaul Haq Sarhadi stressed the need for enhancing Pak-Afghan transit trade.

They urged the government to take such measures, which will provide cheap, secure and trustful goods transportation facility. Faizi demanded that the Afghan Transit Trade Agreement (ATTA) be reviewed and amended to make it further business-friendly and beneficial for the business community of both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

SCCI representatives also urged the government and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to amend SRO 121(1) and allow open transportation of goods along with containers that will abolish detention charges and exporters/importers will get facilities.

Also speaking on the occasion, Sarhadi suggested the re-launch of cargo train from Karachi to Peshawar and Goods in Transit to Afghanistan (GITTA) in order to revive transit route that was shifted to Bandar Abbas and Chabahar ports.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 25th, 2019.

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