Azakhel Dry-Port will be built in order to facilitate Pak-Afghan Transit Trade, by Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Railways.
The Ministry of Railways and Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) have agreed to take joint measures to make fully operational the Azakhel Dry-Port in order to facilitate Pak-Afghan Transit trade, onward to Central Asian Republics (CARs) as well as to boost-up exports.
The agreement was signed in a meeting of a delegation of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, led by its president Hasnain Khurshid with Federal Minister for Railways Azam Swati at the Ministry of Railways in Islamabad, according to a press release issued here on Monday.
The SCCI delegation included the SCCI chief, ex-president Sherbaz Bilour, ex-vice president Manzoor Elahi and Ziaul Haq, Chairman SCCI Standing Committee on Railways and Dry-port.
During the meeting, the SCCI president presented five-point recommendations proposed by the chamber regarding facilitating Pak-Afghan transit trade, through Azakhel Dry Port, which, on the occasion, were thoroughly discussed.
Federal Minister Azam Swati agreed with the proposals and appreciated the SCCI for presenting modalities to make fully operational the Azakhel Dry-Port to expedite the process of exports proceeds through Pakistan Railways and ease difficulties of exporters. He also issued directives to implement the proposals of SCCI at earliest.
The SCCI chief informed the meeting that FBR is willing to allow cross stuff of transit goods at Karachi Port and Azakhel Port but needs the consent of the federal government and ministry of railways, as from Azakhel Dry-Port the transit goods will be loaded in single truck bonded carriers. However, the system can’t be implemented because Azakhel Dry-Port is not fully operationalised.
Similarly, he said, Pakistan Railways will earn huge revenue if Azakhel Dry-Port could be fully operationalised, besides it can also generate employment opportunities to local.
The SCCI chief said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is exporting items like furniture, mineral, marbles, matches and honey etc, but the exporters were facing a lot of problems owing to unavailability of bonded carriers’ facility in Peshawar, to carry these exports goods to Karachi Port for onward destinations. He said this practice also damages most of the consignments at the Karachi sea-port.
Hasnain Khurshid said that Azakhel Dry-Port even after its completion hadn’t been fully operationalised as it was inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan in January last year, but it still lacked the basic facilities, consequentially exporters are being faced with numerous problems. He viewed that fully functioning of Azakhel Dry-Port will help facilitate Pak-Afghan Transit trade and onward to Central Asian Republics (CARs).