Increase in trade volume with Afghanistan to ensure regional prosperity: Asad Qaiser
APP01-07 ISLAMABAD: October 07 Β– Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser presiding over a meeting of Executive Committee of Pak-Afghan Parliamentary Friendship Group at Parliament House. APP

ISLAMABAD, Oct 7 (APP): National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser Wednesday said promoting exports was imperative for economic stability and development of Pakistan.

He was chairing the appraisal meeting of the Executive Committee of the Pakistan Afghanistan Parliamentary Friendship Group (PFG) to review the implementation of the decisions regarding Pak-Afghan trade and visa facilitation in the Parliament House here.

The speaker said Afghanistan by virtue of its location was a favorable export destination besides being at the transit route to the Central Asia.

He stressed for implementation of the recommendations of the Executive Committee of Pak-Afghan Friendship Group for fully realizing the export potential of the country.

The National Logistic Cell representative informed the committee that container clearance had reached to average of up to 1,870 per day due to deployment of extra personnel and speedy clearance of Afghanistan bound containers and would be enhanced up to 2,000 containers per day.

The speaker appreciated the performance of FBR and Customs department regarding container clearance on Torkham and Chaman borders.

He directed the FBR and Customs to ensure clearance of containers of Afghan Transit Trade within a week.

He also remarked that easing down the scanning requirements for the Afghan Transit Trade would facilitate the traders and directed the Customs department to complete the process within week.

He directed representative of the State Bank of Pakistan to ensure establishment of bank branches at Angoor Adda and Ghulam Khan Borders for facilitation of the traders.

The representative of State Bank of Pakistan informed that bank of Khyber and National Bank of Pakistan would establish banks within stipulated time.

He commended the approval of the cabinet for visa liberalization policy for Afghan Nationals on recommendation of this committee.

Enquiring about the implementation of the matter related to off-loading of import containers at Miran Shah instead of Ghulam Khan and deployment of the Federal Investigation Agency personnel at Ghulam Khan, Angoor Adda and Kharlachi, the speaker directed interior ministry secretary to immediately assess the ground situation and submit a report at the earliest to facilitate the Afghan Transit Traders.

Reviewing progress on the issue of waving off demurrage and detention charges for the Afghan Transit Trade containers, the committee recommended unanimously to forward this matter to Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet.

The committee also unanimously recommended to bring legislative bill in the matter of waiving off demurrage issues.

Inquiring about reducing the number of checkpoints, the speaker directed special assistant to prime minister on establishment to held meeting with Balochistan government, stakeholders and apprise the committee about rationalization of the required number of check posts.

The special assistant remarked that the recent approval of rationalization and visa liberalization policy for Afghanistan by cabinet was due to substantive efforts and deliberation on the part of this executive committee.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan during approval of the visa policy for Afghanistan had directed to provide all facilities to visa seekers in Kabul Embassy Pakistan.
Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Afghanistan Sadiq Khan said the coordination of FBR and NLC was vital to facilitate the transit traders.

Members of National Assembly (MNAs) Mohsin Dawar and Shandana Gulzar Khan suggested on ground visit of Torkham, Chaman and Angoor Adda besides giving retrospective legislation in the matter of waiving of demurrage.

MNAs Mohsin Dawar, Salahuddin Ayubi, Shandana Gulzaar, Sajida Begum, senior officers of ministries of commerce, interior, national food security, maritime, foreign affairs, State Bank of Pakistan, FBR and representative of governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan attended the meeting.