Kandahar customs revenue sharply declines
KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): A senior customs official in southern Kandahar province on Monday said his department had recorded the lowest revenue collection this year, as traders were increasingly boycotting Pakistan’s Karachi seaport.
Customs Director Azizullah Jalalzai said more than one billion afghanis ($20 million) were collected over the last seven months, showing a decline of more than five billion afghanis, compared with figures for the same period a year ago.
Jalalzai blamed the revenue fall on problems in Pakistan with regard to transit trade, insecurity on their side of the border and months long delays in clearance of vehicles carrying commercial goods of Afghan traders.
"After incurring huge losses in Karachi, traders have started shipping goods through Islam Qala, Torghundai, Hairatan and other dry ports, a situation that led to a dramatic decrease in customs revenue," he explained to a gathering at the governor's house in Kandahar City.
Traders said they had abandoned the Karachi port because it caused them losses. A trader representative, Abdul Baqi, said their goods would remain stuck for days and sometimes for months at the Karachi port while they had to pay $0.3 million daily in service charges.
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