Pakistan orders swift food supplies to Afghanistan
KABUL (PAN): Pakistan's Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Ministry of Communications were directed on Thursday to ensure the smooth transportation of perishable items to Afghanistan under a recent transit trade pact.
Federal Minister of Finance Dr. Abdul Hafiz Shaikh issued the directives at a meeting aimed at easing vegetable and foods supplies to, and from, the landlocked country, the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) news agency reported.
The minister called for speedy transportation of goods to the neighbouring country through the Wagah border and Karachi port. A report on the daily movement of containers carrying food will be submitted to the minister.
"Customs authorities, the facilitator of the Afghan Transit Trade Agreement, were asked to start work on issuing 60-day guarantees for perishable items," the report said.
Greater utilisation of the Peshawar Dry Port, strengthening of custom controls and strict monitoring of transit trade were also discussed.
A day earlier, Afghan traders complained they have been unable to export their goods to foreign countries through Pakistan over the past 42 days due to harsh restrictions.
Hundreds of trucks laden with dried and fresh fruits, herbals, carpets, precious and semi-precious stones have been stranded on both sides of the border due to technical problems in implementation of APTTA.
Khan Jan Alakozay, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries chairman, told a press conference in Kabul the agreement allowed vehicles to travel to any city in the two countries. Pakistani vehicles were allowed to enter Afghan cities, but trucks from this side of the frontier were refused entry into Peshawar, he alleged.
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