MoC Asked to Reinforce Barter Trade with Afghanistan
According to news sources, Islamabad’s Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has been tasked with formally implementing the plan for barter commerce with Kabul as part of Pakistan’s efforts to legalize and strengthen its business connections with its neighbor.
According to sources, the proposal made by the ministry in this regard was discussed in detail during a recent meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan. Following the meeting, the ministry was tasked with consulting public and private stakeholders to formalize and implement the proposals, as well as soliciting advice from the Ministry of Finance on how to handle the situation.
In addition, it was agreed to assess the available opportunities for trading the Pakistani rupee. The finance ministry has been tasked with leading stakeholder consultations and establishing the practicability and viability of the proposed alternative.
At the meeting, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and other relevant agencies were tasked with implementing the Risk Management System (RMS) on land routes, particularly along the Pak-Afghan border, in order to facilitate trade.
Currently, the system is active in seaports. During the two-month pilot phase, the exchange of soapstone, cement, and coal will be assessed.
Pakistan Customs is establishing an Integrated Risk Management System (IRMS) via the Pakistan Single Window (PSW), which will enable trade regulatory bodies to execute certifications on a single integrated platform. This would transform the landscape of cross-border commerce and considerably contribute to Pakistan’s economic growth and national development.
The facility of using convertible cash currencies as export proceeds for the settlement of exports to Afghanistan and Central Asian nations, which had previously expired on October 15, 2021, has been extended by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). The facilities will now be accessible until the 31st of December, 2021.
Authorized merchants may accept convertible currency carried over counters as export revenues without requiring travellers to complete a customs declaration.
The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published a circular on July 2 revising procedures and asking exporters to provide proof of currency when submitting E-forms.
To aid exporters of perishable goods, the government has authorized shipments of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish to Afghanistan in Pakistani rupees.
In July-August 2021 (2MFY22), Pakistan’s imports from Afghanistan surged by 99 percent, from $9.514 million in the prior fiscal year to $18.960 million.
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