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Pakistan accused of violating APTA

Pakistan accused of violating APTA

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9 Oct 2023 - 18:10
Pakistan accused of violating APTA
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9 Oct 2023 - 18:10

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): The imposition of 10 percent tax on some transit goods and 100 percent bank guarantee on transit shipment is in violation with the Afghanistan Pakistan Trade Agreement (APTA), according to businessmen in eastern Nangarhar province on Monday.

They said Afghan businessmen were unable to pay 100 percent bank guarantee and it would put Afghan businessmen with a huge loss.

Meanwhile, Commerce and Trade Ministry acknowledged the issue and said they started talks with the Pakistani side.

Zalmail Azemi, head of the Nangarhar Chamber of Commerce administration penal, told Pajhwok Afghan News the decision of the government of Pakistan that, after this, bank guarantee of Afghan goods and cargo will be collected at the port of Karachi, and 10 percent custom tax will be imposed on some goods is in violation with the APTA.

He said: “Pakistani government has demanded 100 percent bank guarantee for the imported goods by Afghan businessmen, if a businessman import goods value $1 million than he should provide the same amount of guarantee in Pakistani banks which an Afghan businessman could not afford.”

He said APTA was signed between Afghanistan and Pakistan 15 years ago with US mediation. The Pakistani parliament had approved law and the incumbent acting Afghan government also abided by the law APTA.

He said another problem the imposition of 10 percent tax on goods that brought to Afghanistan from Pakistan and returned back to Pakistan through smuggling.

Haji Ismael, is a sugar and cooking oil businessman, said some of these good landed at the port of Karachi, which hanged around for three days, and the traders lose millions of Afghanis.

Tea Businessman Haji Feroz asked Afghan government for a tit for tat move and said Pakistani businessmen will force its government to stop imposing new tax.

Commerce ministry acknowledged the problem

Abdul Salaam Jawad, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce and Industries, said: “APTA agreement still stand at its place, verbal understanding has been done with Pakistani government but unfortunately some problems had been created to our businessmen recently.”

He said Commerce Minister is working with the government leaders to address this issue and efforts are underway to find alternative ways on the bases of which businessmen will not face problems in the future.

Earlier, Afghanistan embassy in Islamabad said that this issue was being discussed with Pakistan officials besides the issue of refugees.

Pakistani officials have not spoken to the media on this issue so far.

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