Trade accord with Afghanistan

THIS refers to the news item ‘Rs50 billion revenue lost in missing containers’ (July 26).
Even though it has been evident for a long time that goods imported by Afghan traders almost always never reach the border but are dumped in Pakistani towns.
The FBR has postponed, on one pretext or the other, the Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement. Just recently, the agreement was put on hold for 60 days owing to Afghan importers’objections to submit bank guarantees to Pakistan Customs to prevent leakage of goods into Pakistani markets while on the way to the border.
The Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement was supposed to come into force on Jan 1 this year, but it is yet to be implemented by the government.
Perhaps, it should simply hand over the FBR to Afghan importers. Knowing how efficient they are, perhaps they will do a much better job in collecting revenue than the FBR does under Pakistani management.

Published in DAWN, July 30, 2011