LAHORE - Collector Customs Ali Salman Abbassi has said that a fresh round of talks with Indian Custom Authorities over the issue of cement export to India by trucks is going to be held in the mid of January this year and hopefully the issue would be resolved.

He was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of commerce and Industry on Wednesday. The Collector Customs said that the sector-specific committees to check under-invoicing should be formed and both the Customs department and the exporters need to sit together to finalise its modalities so that the committees could be notified without any further delay. He said that the Customs department was well aware of the fact in after granting the MFN status to India the volume of trade between the two sides would jump manifold and the Wagah would be the largest port in the country five years down the line. Therefore, he added, the private sector should initiate consultation with the NLC that is presently handling all the infrastructure related issues at Wagah.

Regarding import-export data sharing, the Collector Customs said that the Customs department is ready to extend all out support to the chambers of commerce in the country in the larger interests of the economy and arrangements would soon be made in this regard.  Exporters, talking to the Collector Customs, said that India is constructing a large warehouse facility spanning over an area of 120 acres near Wahga check post at the Pakistani border.

This warehouse will facilitate the Indian businessmen in their business with Pakistan. But on Pakistani side there are no matching facilities for facilitation of Pakistani Exporters. Moreover, presently there is no facility to handle shipments in liquid form, at Wahga border. This requires your immediate attention.

They also urged the Collector Customs to provide data of import and export between India and Pakistan, especially through Wahga border on daily basis. This will help us to gauge the quantum of present trade as well as to judge the future impact after liberalization of trade between the two countries.