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Increase in duties on fresh produce of Afghanistan will increase public suffering at this time: Zubair Motiwala, PAJCCI

Karachi, September 08, 2022 (PPI-OT):Chairman PAJCCI established that unilateral increase in regulatory duty on Afghan fresh produce in the season will increase the economic suffering on both sides. He urged Government of Pakistan to reconsider the changes taking into consideration its effect on border area trade which has already been worsened due to recent flooding that has destroyed Pakistan’s Agri-produce massively and Pakistan is facing severe dearth of fresh fruits, tomatoes and onions.

Government of Pakistan has recently abolished all duties and taxes on tomatoes and onions imports from Afghanistan to meet the local needs, which was very positively taken by Afghanistan however this uncalled imposition of duty on fresh fruits has negatively impacted not only trade community but overall confidence building measures.

In the recent meeting of PAJCCI Chairman with Minister of Commerce, many issues were discussed and long pending SRO of cross stuffing was issued however the affect is nullified by the duty imposition. Most recently PAJCCI was able to resolve the delay in clearance by Afghan side on Chaman border due to Weigh Bridge and clearance rate has increased and improved almost by 60%, however, due to RD imposition, business has been halted and protests are underway by clearing agents and Afghan traders.

It is imperative that both countries need each other for economic well-being. Government and private stakeholders’ efforts and achievements in resolving issues, improvement of the processes, facilitation in duty relaxation and other measures are adversely impacted by such action without considering ground situation, need analysis and input of business community.

Zubair Motiwala said that imposition of duties on basic needs like vegetables and fruits at this moment will make life difficult for common man who is already suffering due to high inflation and destruction of floods. He appealed to Minister of Commerce to rescue this situation as goods will not be cleared by importers unless duties are withdrawn rendering goods damage and wastage which will bring financial loss to Pakistani importers, Afghan exporters, transporters, labour and revenue of both the governments.

The holding up of clearance is also severely impacting transit cargo due to congestion which is multiplying negative affect of the situation. PAJCCI, seeing the gravity of the matter, has immediately taken up this issue with relevant authorities to ensure that the business community issues are raised timely and effectively.

For more information, contact:
Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI)
Tel: +92-21-99218024-7
Fax: +92-21-99218028
Email: info@pajcci.com
Website: http://www.pajcci.com/

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