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Hike in duty: Trade activity declines at Torkham Port

Hike in duty: Trade activity declines at Torkham Port

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Jul 19, 2018 - 18:59

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Trade activities have declined at the Torkham Port in eastern Nangarhar province due to a hike in customs duty and most of businessmen now prefer the border crossings in Paktia and Khost provinces for transfer of goods, local officials said Thursday.

According to Nangarhar Chamber of Commerce and Industry officials, in the past around 800 trucks would enter Afghanistaninfo-icon from Pakistaninfo-icon with trade goods, but now their number has fallen to 150.

However, provincial government officials said the decline in trade activities at the Torkham port resulted from ‘strict measures’ against corruption not the hike in customs duty.

Gul Murad Arab, head of the provincial chamber of commerce and industry, said trade activity at Torkham port had greatly declined.

He said the volume of annual trade at the Torkham port had declined to 700 million afghanis from the previous seven billion afghanis.

He added problems businessmen faced in Pakistan and increasing taxes at Torkham port contributed to the decline in trade activities.

Arab said every truck should pay 100,000 to 120,000 afghanis at Torkham port in customs duty compared to 40,000 and 50,000 afghanis charged at Khost and Paktia ports.

Nangarhar governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani rejected the hike in customs duty had discouraged trade activities, saying the corruption had been eradicated at the port.

He added despite the decrease in number of vehicles crossing into Afghanistan, the revenue from the Torkham dry port had surged.

Nangarhar Customs Department head could not be reached for comment despite attempts.

nh/ma

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