Taftan border de-sealed for trade purposes

Our Correspondent

Islamabad : On the intervention of the Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser and the Special Committee on Agricultural Products, Ministry of Interior has issued a Notification regarding de-sealing of Taftan Border for trade purposes, today.The Interior Ministry modifiying it’s earlier orders of 27th March and 13th April, 2020 regarding sealing of western border has allowed opening of Taftan Border throughout the week For trade purpose subject to the observance of guidelines and SoPs. The decision has been conveyed to the Director General Federal Investigation Agency and Inspector General, Frontier Corps Balochistan for its immediate implementation.Taking cognisance of the various issues faced by Mango exporters and farmers, the Special Committee on Argeiculture products summoned Ministries of Food Security and Research, Interior and Aviation to thrash out those issues. Speaker Asad Qaiser was of the view that mango was a perishable commodity and procedural delays or logistic hurdles cost million to national exchequer. He warned that no delay in border opening and trade facilitation will not be tolerated.The Committee in its previous meeting had recommended that the Ministry of Interior should take appropriate and urgent trade-facilitative measures for opening and operation of Taftan border throughout the week during the mango season with extended timings to facilitate mango exports to Iran. The Speaker has also written a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to take cognizance of the matter and passing on directions to the concerned ministries to facilitate the mango exporters.The Committee in the previous meeting had also asked Aviation Division to direct PIA to reduce the freight charges for mango export to facilitate the farmers and exporters. The Minister Aviation had assured that PIA would be asked to reduce the freight charges besides dedicating B-777 aircraft for the purpose. The national airline after discussing the issue with the exporters and other stakeholders has decided to drastically reduce the freight charges for mango export up to $2.5 per 500 kg for UK and Europe whereas $1 per 500 kg for other export destinations.The Speaker has said that Pakistani mango is a delicacy throughout the world which also substantially contributes to the foreign exchange earnings of the country. He said that opening of border and reduction of air freight would give a boost to the economy of the country effected by the corona virus pandemic. He also urged the exporters association to ensure that they also support PIA by lifting their cargo through the national airline only.