MARKET ANALYSIS

PAK-AFGHAN TRADE: MOF, SBP URGED TO ADD MORE ITEMS TO PKR TRADING CATEGORY

Chairman PAJCCI,  Zubair Motiwala urged to consider further items that must be added to the list which are important export commodities items to PKR trading category with Afghanistan and fetch revenues for national exchequer, as was discussed with Adviser Commerce to Prime Minister, Razzak Dawood. Motiwala apprised that withdrawal of cash on counter facility,  requirement of advance payments, reluctance of banks to accept third party payment in case of Afghanistan, is adding not only to the congestion at borders but has also devastated the trade quantum. He acknowledged pressures of FATF and declining foreign exchange reserves but requested a system that fulfils international conditions while remaining business supportive. He reiterated his previous suggestion to set up bank counters at borders so payments can be made at the spot without delaying shipments and creating congestion. He stressed the need for comprehensive long-termpolicy for trade with Afghanistan including trade in PKR for both export and import along with barter trade mechanism till new regime in Afghanistan is stabilized. As per the notification, new additions are rice, fish and fish products, poultry, meat and products, sugar confectionery and bakery products, fruit, nuts and other edible parts of plants, oilcake and other solid residues, vegetable materials and vegetable waste, salt, cement, pharmaceuticals, matches, textile and textile articles, building stone and surgical instruments. The decision was taken due to halted banking activities and unavailability of USD in Afghanistan as well as continued humanitarian crises. PAJCCI chairman also lauded Governments initiative for removal of 45pc regulatory duty on the import of Pine Nut (Chilghoza) from Afghanistan to encourage legal import of unprocessed pine nut for its processing in the country for export. The ministry is currently considering the TORs and Co-Chairman Khan Jan Alokozai assured that soon it will be deliberated for further proceedings.