By Asim Hussain
ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minster on Establishment, Arbab Shahzad has said that trade facilitation and ease of doing business is the priority of the PTI government. He expressed these views while addressing the meeting on the closure of Chaman border and the difficulties being faced by common people of Chaman District in the Parliament House Islamabad on Wednesday.
He said that COVID-19 has damaged the interests of trader and business man especially in and around Chaman area which is directly related with the common people. He said that exporters and importers facilitation will increase bilateral trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The meeting proposed to coordinate with the provincial authorities regarding the issues faced by the traders and businessmen in and around Chaman border as people of the same tribe are settling across the border. The meeting also decided to recommend the provincial and district authorities to facilitate the locals immediately in this regard.
The meeting was attended by Members National Assembly, Madam Shandana Gulzaar, Mohsin Darwar, Ali Wazeer, Mr. Muhammad Sadiq Shaikh, Ms.Nafisa Khattak and officers from Ministry of Commerce, Interior, Health and officers of Finance Ministry were present in the meeting. Task force of Pak-Afghan Parliamentary Friendship Group on Tracking & Scanning of Containers destined for Afghanistan deliberated that Scanning and tracking should not be hurdle for traders.
The task force decided to make proposals for making scanning and tracking of the containers at border up to international standards keeping in view of international standards of facilitating the exporters and importers at Afghanistan border. Mohammad Sadiq Khan Pakistanâ€™s Special Envoy to Afghanistan said that both Pakistan and Afghanistan can take benefit from mutual trade. He suggested to make scanning easy and comfortable for the traders especially the scanning of perishable items. The task force meeting was chaired by Honourable Member Mr. Muhammad Yaqoob Sheikh.
Second Task force of Pakistan Afghanistan Parliamentary Friendship Group in Customs related issues recommended giving one time waiver regarding exponential demurrage charges owing to COVID- 19 Pandemic which are stuck at Pakistan Afghanistan Transit trade. The task force recommended that regional trade is imperative for the prosperity of the common man in both counties and suggested that special concession be given to exporters and importers at this time of emergency due to COVID-19 Pandemic.
The task force also recommended to take provincial authorities and all government stake holders on board immediately to resolve the issues of demurrage charges. The participant appreciated the Initiative of The Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser who believes in the parliamentary initiative to resolve the all issues faced by traders and business men especially the trade with Afghanistan.