The major obstacles in export of mangoes have now been resolved making it easier to achieve the export target of 80,000 metric tons during the current season. The Federal Govt. has opened borders of Afghanistan & Iran for export mangoes & vegetables giving priority to the trucks carrying these perishable items while the national carrier has also announced concessional air freight charges for the export of mangoes.
According to Waheed Ahmed, the Patron-in Chief of All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters, Importers & Merchants Association (PFVA), the burning issues of export of mangoes via land route through Pak-Iran borders and high Air freight charges by the national carrier were highlighted effectively. These issues had assumed state of turmoil for the growers as well exporters due to negative impact on export of mangoes caused by the coronavirus pandemic and resulting strict lockdown in the country while the mangoes export consignments worth of millions of USD started getting spoiled due to in-ordinate delay in opening of the border. On other hand, the exporters were also encountering problems in export of mangoes due to high freight cost by the foreign carriers.
The special committee of the national Assembly (NA) on agriculture products paid specific attention to these issues and requested to convene an urgent session for addressing these issues of prime importance. During the session all concerned Federal Ministers & Secretaries displaying great team spirit fully focused their attention on these issues and within a short span of three days they managed to resolve the issues.
The chairman of the special committee, speaker NA Assad Qaiser, Federal Ministers Shah Mahmood Quershi, Fakhar Imam, Guhulam Sarwar Khan , and Advisor to PM on commerce Razzak Dawood evaluated these issues very seriously and with excellent coordination and cooperation among the concerned Ministries and departments resolved the issues just in three days and thus the vibrant and vigilant team of the Primer safeguarding the national interest deserves appreciation for such a stunning action. The history is unable to produce any example from the past when the trade issues of national interest may have been resolved so expeditiously.
The CEO-PIA Air Marshal Arshad malik (Rtd.) also participated in this special session and as per directive of committee flew all the way from Islamabad to Karachi to have an urgent meeting with a delegation of the exporters of the PFVA and amicably resolved the issue of high freight charges by the national carrier. The prompt and timely decisions taken by the political leadership would provide great relief to the exporters as well millions of laborers associated with this sector during the time of this economic crises due to COVID-19 while the people of Balochistan , in particular would be greatly benefitted due to creation of ample opportunities resulting because of opening of Pak-Iran border. The Ministry of Commerce has also issued notification for the Taftan border to remain opened for seven days a week – Waheed Shared .
With approval of Command & Control centre after notification from the Ministry of Interior the Taftan border has now been opened for trade and thus the “stand still “ export of mangoes has now commenced.
The notification issued by the MoC states that there would be no restriction on the number of trucks carrying trade cargo from either side of the border – Wheed disclosed. The trade cargo especially mangoes and vegetables would be cleared on priority basis.
The Moc has issued directive to the FBR that for the smooth export of mangoes, the exporters NLC , FC and the Iranian custom officials shall establish an office with mutual cooperation and in absence of any cold storage facility at the border, the export shipments of mangoes destined to Iran must be cleared without any delay.
The national carrier has reduced it’s freight charges almost half in comparison to the foreign carriers charging for the UK, Europe, Doha, Muscat, UAE, Kuwait, Dammam, Madinah, Riyadh, Tokyo, Beijing & Kuala lumpur. The national carrier would charge USD 2.5 per Kg for UK against USD 3.4 per Kg being charged by the foreign carrier.
The freight cost for Europe has been also reduced to USD 2.5 per Kg from USD 3.4 per Kg, USD 1.00 from USD 1.3 per Kg for Doha, USD 1.00 from USD1.7 / Kg for Muscat, USD 1.00 from USD 2.00 / Kg for U.A.E. USD 1.00 from USD 2.45 / Kg for Kuwait & Dammam.