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Improved facilities ensues in significant increase in trade between Pak-Afg via Torkham.

PESHAWAR -- Improved facilities provided by government to businessmen has resulted in significant increase in volume of trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan via Torkhem border.

In the last six months from July 1 to December 31, 2015, the volume of duty collection on transportation of goods between Pakistan and Afghanistan is much more than the figures collected in year 2014, said Collector Customs Peshawar, Qurban Ali Khan.

Talking with reporter, Collector Customs Peshawar informed that in the year 2014, revenue collection from trade via Torkham border was 2426 million. While in the last six months of 2015, it shoots up to 3528, showing an increase of Rs 1102 million.

The Custom Department, Qurban Ali continued has embarked upon a policy of facilitating business community of the country by providing them maximum facilities besides generating revenue for the official kitty.

He informed that the whole custom department has been computerized to expedite processing of documentations relating to clearance of goods for imports and exports. Earlier, the process was under taken through manual system which took a lot of time.

Qurban Ali Khan said about 20 years ago in Custom department there was only one Collector for whole KP, FATA and Gilgit Baltistan, but now there are around 1000 officials in the whole Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Recently the Custom Collectorate has also deputed Assistant Collector at Parachinar (Kurram Agency) from where around 600 trucks are crossing border from Parachinar to Afghanistan on daily basis and similarly trucks are coming here loaded with goods including fresh fruit and other items.

Collector Customs also disclosed that Asian Development Bank is setting up a huge state of the art Custom Complex at Torkhem which will complete in stipulated period of 24 months.

Land has been acquired and contract for Customs Complex has been awarded to National Logistic Cell (NLC), he added.

He said presently Customs departments is taking 24 hours in clearance of a goods loaded truck from Torkhem and after construction of Customs Complex, the clearance will be made within one hour.

Qurban Ali also apprised that an new NLC terminal is being made at Jamrud near Torkhem for clearance of trucks carrying perishable goods. The terminal will help in early clearance of perishable goods thus facilitating the business community.

He said a lot of perishable goods including meat, poultry, fruit, dairy products, cooking oil and other edible items are exported to Afghanistan from Pakistan.

He said the decision of Pakistan government allowing exporters to make payment in local currency as duty for export of perishable goods has also help in increasing trade between the two country.

Earlier, he said the businessmen faced a lot of difficulties in payment of duty in US dollars and have to visit Peshawar for conversion of money.

He said the Custom department is also opening its stations in Lower Dir district, Mohmand Agency, Shangla district and other few districts of KP.

Qurban Ali said he is contemplating plan to providing facility of import of cars from Torkhem post in accordance with rules under which vehicles are imported from Karachi and are cleared at Peshawar dry port.

For the firt time in the history of the country, import of furnance oil has been allowed from Torkhem boder. Similarly, import of coal is also started from here creating more economic activities in the region.
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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jan 15, 2016
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