Pakistan prepares strategy to curb losses from Afghan transit trade


ISLAMABAD (PPI): Pakistan has formulated a new strategy to curb financial losses to the exchequer from the Afghan transit trade, sources said on Friday.

Sources further said that Pakistan suffered an annual financial loss of Rs180 billion from the Afghan transit trade. To curb the financial losses, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) formulated a new strategy to stop smuggling of the transit commodities.

The documents mentioned that Pakistan would take 100% guarantee of all luxury items in the Afghan transit trade.

The federal government decided to end the smuggling of luxury items through the Afghan transit trade following the recommendations of the Special Investment Facilitations Council’s (SIFC) apex committee.

According to the documents, a ban was imposed on the exports of several luxury commodities including tyres, fabrics, cosmetics, tiles and other items until their clearance from the relevant authorities.

It showed that the volume of the Pakistan-Afghanistan trade was soared to $6.71 billion from $2.5 billion within one year and it offset the impact of Pakistan’s import ban.

The documents also stated that the same commodities are being brought to the country through the transit trade after the imposition of ban or duties.

Several commodities were being sold in Pakistan after being smuggled from Afghanistan due to low duties.

It has been decided to conduct the revolving insurance and bank guarantees on all new consignments under the Afghan transit trade. The SIFC apex committee directed the FBR to impose 10% processing fees on the transit commodities from Afghanistan.

Sources added that Pakistan would spend the revenue from the Afghan transit trade’s processing fees on recovering the losses of infrastructure and road networks.

Earlier, it emerged that the Afghan Transit Trade left a negative impact over the national economy and has been one of the basic reasons of the black economy prevailing in Pakistan.

According to a report Afghan authorities misstate about prices of the Aghan Transit Trade items, which results in an obvious difference between the reported and real values of an item.

“These items brought back to Pakistan illegally for sale,” according to the report.

According to the Bureau of Statistics Afghan traders save three quarters of their trade items from customs duty by smuggling. “Thus, Pakistan sustain annual losses to the tune of around three billion dollars”.

“These traders tamper the tracking system installed on container trucks, which affect the tracking mechanism”.

These trucks used to sell the Afghan trade items on cheaper rates in black market in country, posing a threat to local industry.

Narcotics and other contraband items also used to smuggle with the transit trade. Fake bills of lading also causing complications in keeping the tracking record, sources said.

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