PESHAWAR: For the advantage of its members, the business community has demanded the restoration of the Peshawar-Karachi export cargo train and swift clearance of goods at the Azakhel Dry Port.
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During a meeting held here on Saturday, the standing committee of the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry on railways and dry port made the demand with SCCI chairman Ziaul Haq Sarhadi in the chair.
According to a statement, the committee also called for pragmatic measures to make the Azakhel Dry Port entirely functional and to end restrictions on loose cargo.
Before making policy decisions on imports and exports, the participants implored the federal government to consult with stakeholders on community issues.
SCCI also requests prompt cargo clearance at Azakhel Dry Port
Mr. Sarhadi complained that the dearth of facilities at the Azakhel Dry Port had exacerbated the business community’s problems.
He stated that the Azakhel Dry Port, which was constructed on 28 acres of land at a cost of Rs600 million, had lost its significance due to a lack of infrastructure.
The chairman of the SCCI stated that the business community faced numerous issues due to the double inspection and clearance of shipments, the de-stuffing and payment of increased demurrage fees, and the slow processing of export cargo vehicles.
SCCI Standing Committee on Carpet Export Chairman Mazharul Haq, Additional Director of the Transit Trade Directorate Custom House Peshawar Salman Wazir, Custom Station Torkham Appraisement Deputy Collector Mohib Khan, Pakistan Railways Commercial Inspector Siddique Tanoli, Anti-Narcotics Forces Assistant Director Shams Shaukat, and other relevant officials attended the meeting.
Mr. Sarhadi demanded the resumption of export cargo trains between Peshawar and Karachi, as well as the reinstatement of the Goods in Transit service to Afghanistan.
He stated that Pakistan Railways had played a crucial role in both cargo and passenger travel, but that passenger train service had been reduced from Peshawar and the city railway registration agency had been closed, causing hardship for those travelling between Peshawar and Karachi.
The chairman of the SCCI stated that the Railways Advisory Committee was established to make decisions with business community input.
He demanded that export trucks be cleared through a single point of entry to expedite the export process and prevent multiple inspections by various departments, particularly ANF.
Mr. Sarhadi demanded the elimination of SRO-121 and the lax cargo authorization.
Mazharul Haq, member of the SCCI Standing Committee on Carpet Export, briefed attendees on the issues facing the business community.
Participants expressed optimism that the newly-appointed FBR chairman and other officials will address the concerns of the business community.
Senior Pakistan Railways, Customs, and ANF officials stated that they would bring their concerns to the attention of the authorities for a prompt and effective resolution.