Businessmen oppose proposal of India-Afghan trade via Wagah border



Businessmen here on Wednesday opposed the proposal to allow Afghanistan to import goods from India via the Wagah-Attari border, calling it as contradictory to Pak Afghan Transit Trade Agreement and against interest of local industries.
“The mutual Pak-Afghan transit trade agreement was a bilateral and not a trilateral as per WTO rules, so the proposal couldn’t workable and unfeasible,” said Mr Shahid Hussain, Acting President of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry while addressing at a meeting regarding proposed amendments in the Afghan Transit Trade Agreement (ATTA).
According to a press release issued the meeting was held under auspices of Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) here at the chamber house on Wednesday.
SCCI Vice President, Abdul Jalil Jan, PAJCCI Senior Vice president Khalid Shehzad, Director Joint Chamber Naumul Haq, former SVP PAJCCI Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, WCCI president Ms Rukhsana Nadir, PAJCCI Secretary General Ms Faiza, Director Khyber Chamber Syed Jawad Hussain, honorary consul general of Tajikistan, Said Mehmood, Syed Ali Hammad, Syed M Zubair, Tufail Gurwara, Farooq Ahmad, Imtiaz Ahmad Ali, Ammar Ansari and Gul Rehman.
Mr Shahid Hussain said that if the Afghanistan was allowed to import goods from India via Wagah border then Pakistani products could not be remained competitive in market that will ultimately damage local industries and trigger joblessness. He urged the proposal was unacceptable while keeping in view the interest of local businesses. SCCI chief demanded to allow transportation of loose cargo to give further boost to Pak-Afghan transit trade.
While expressing concerns over imposition of Axle Load Regime by government, Mr Shahid Hussain said the business community is being faced with financial losses due to its enforcement and demanded to immediate withdraw the regime and to ensure equal implementation of all relevant laws.
He urged the government and State Bank of Pakistan to clear rebate of business community on head security and demurrage and called for bringing easiness in system to avoid traders and exporters from financial losses.
Businessmen should allow to transport transit goods in all mode of transportation, including bonded carriers, Pakistan Railway and NLC in order to retain competitiveness among transportation services, SCCI chief demanded.
Mr Shahid Hussain expressed serious concerns over 100 per cent checking of goods cargo instead of 5 per cent by Customs authorities, saying that the business community is facing huge financial losses due to load, unload, repacking and demurrage.—APP