PESHAWAR—The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet decided to abolish 45% regulatory duty on the import of chilghoza [pine nuts and allowed export of 14 food items to Afghanistan in rupees.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the ECC, presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, in the wake of a drastic decline in exports to Afghanistan. Figures show 25 percent decline in Pakistan’s exports to Afghanistan in last six months.
The ECC has decided to abolish the 45% regulatory duty on the import of pine nuts and approved the utilisation of third-party services to monitor the Kamyab Jawan program.
The ECC allowed the export of 14 food related items to Afghanistan in Pakistan rupees via trade routes as there is no dollars- tradable currency available in Afghanistan while its banking system is also non-functional. The Afghan traders were unable to export food items due to the unavailability of dollars.
The officials believe that it will be helpful in alleviating the current crisis in the troubled Afghanistan and would also stop smuggling of US dollars from Pakistan. Pakistan had announced trade with Afghanistan in Pakistan rupees however; the plan could not be implemented because of the opposition of the Afghan Taliban.
The products also include essential items including rice, fish and fish products, poultry, meat and products, sugar confectionery and bakery products, fruit, nuts and other edible parts of plants, oilcake and other solid residues, vegetable materials and vegetable waste, salt, cement, pharmaceuticals, matches, textile and textile articles, building stone and surgical instruments.
Meanwhile, the ECC said that abolition of regulatory duty on chilghoza would counter its illegal imports from Afghanistan and would be helpful in jobs creation in the border region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and backward area of Balochistan province.
Earlier on Dec 13, The State Bank of Pakistan had introduced a new policy of exports to Afghanistan bounding Afghan traders to show US dollars along with their passports at the time of entry to Pakistan to acquire Form-E for buying and importing Pakistani goods to Afghanistan.
Since the Taliban takeover of Kabul, Pakistan has taken several measures, including a drastic reduction in duty on imports of vegetables and fruits from Afghanistan. Pakistan had also host a three-day OIC extra ordinary ministerial session in Islamabad to combat humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.