Islamabad, Prime Minister Imran Khan today chaired a meeting to review issues related to Pak-Afghan Transit Trade and the way forward towards streamlining the transit trade mechanism for ensuring optimum and mutually beneficial utilization of the arrangement.
The meeting was attended by Minister for IT Mr. Khalid Maqbool Siddique, Minister for Maritime Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Adviser Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Adviser Commerce Mr. Abdul Razzak Dawood, SAPM for Information Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Governor State Bank Mr. Raza Baqir, Secretary Commerce Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera, Foreign Secretary Mr. Sohail Mehmood and other senior officials.
Secretary Commerce Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera gave a detailed briefing on the existing set-up under Pak-Afghan Transit Trade Agreement and various issues being encountered at operational level including the issue of smuggling back of the goods into Pakistani markets that adversely affects the industry of the country.
The Prime Minister in his remarks stated that in view of the positive impact of socio-economic development of Afghanistan, the Government of Pakistan is committed to facilitate transit trade of the landlocked neighboring country. However, the Prime Minister directed to ensure that the arrangement is not misused and does not hamper the growth of Pakistani industry.
Reiterating that the growth of industry and boosting exports are the key priorities for the present government, the Prime Minister underscored the need for streamlining Pak-Afghan Transit Trade arrangement, in coordination with Afghan authorities, so as to create a mutually beneficial situation for the two countries and the region.
The Prime Minister also underlined the need for employing technology to preclude misuse of the arrangement by vested interests.
The Prime Minister directed Ministry of Commerce to present a comprehensive plan, within three days, taking into account all operational aspects and identifying the required administrative measures, so as to ensure that a transparent corruption free arrangement capable of serving the intended purpose is put in place.