Afghan fruit exporters face problems in Pakistan
KABUL (PAN): Afghan farmers are being forced into selling their fresh fruits on lower rates due to the non-implementation of Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA), a trader representative said on Wednesday.
ATTPA which replaces a 1965 transit trade agreement between the two neighbouring counties is yet to be enforced by the Pakistani authorities, months later it was signed.
The agreement enables Kabul to export goods to India and in return, Pakistani trucks are allowed to reach Central Asia, Iran and Turkey through travelling Afghanistan.
Deputy Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) head, Khan Jan Alokozai said in the past Afghanistan would export 80 percent of its fruits first to Pakistan and then India. But now most of the fruits could not be delivered to India due to several problems facing Afghan traders in Pakistan, he said.
He said the situation in Pakistan had left Afghan traders unable to sell their products on time, claiming 55 percent of the fruits were either sold against lower rates or spoiled. Alokozai asked the Pakistani officials to resolve the problem at the earliest in order to save the Afghan traders from incurring further losses.
Last year, Afghan traders suffered losses amounting to id="mce_marker"00 million (4.9 billion afghanis) due to the lengthy clearance procedures, ban on Afghan traders' trucks to enter ports and non-implementation of APTTA, he said.
Afghan traders, unhappy with the problems they face in Pakistan, said the problems had delibratley been created by the Pakistani officials.
"I don’t want to export fruits this year to India through Pakistan, where the authorities created similar problems for us last year," Nijabat, a trader, said.
He asked the Afghan government to take urgent steps for solution to the problems because fruits season was about to start.
Ministry of Commerce and Industries spokesman Wahidullah Ghazikhel said efforts were in place to address the problems facing Afghan traders through consultation with Pakistani officials.
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