ISLAMABAD - National Assembly Standing Committee on Commerce on Monday directed the Ministry of Commerce and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to address the duty structure, flaws in all custom related matters and week anti-smuggling mechanism in consultation with concerned departments. The meeting of the Standing Committee on Commerce under the Chairmanship of Syed Naveed Qamar was held in the Parliament House, Islamabad. The Ministry of Commerce briefed the Committee on the history of Afghan Pakistan Trade and revision of Afghan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) 2010. The Committee discussed in detail the challenges & issues in transit trade with Afghanistan, lessons learnt from past agreements, proposals of both the countries and way forward.

The Committee was informed that Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) is obligatory transport of cargo from/to Pakistan ports to Afghanistan under Article V of GATT 1947, Convention on Transit Trade of land locked States 1965, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982. 

The Agreement was concluded keeping in view the best international practices and advances made in the fields of information technology, logistics and customs procedures. The Ministry of Commerce informed the Committee that despite repeated requests, Afghan side has not been forthcoming in holding of APTTCA meeting and last meeting was held in February, 2016. They further added that Afghan side has shared proposals for revision of APTTA in June, 2020. 

The Ministry of Commerce has firmed up comments after stakeholder’s consultations, on Afghanistan’s proposal for revision of APTTA 2010 along with proposals from Pakistan’s side. The Standing Committee on Commerce showed dissatisfaction on the briefing and considered it incomplete. The Chair directed the Ministry of Commerce to present a comprehensive briefing on this important national issue and respond to proposals of Honourable Members of the Committee, in the next meeting. 

The meeting was attended by MNA Mr. Muhammad Yaqoob Shaikh, MNA Mr. Ali Khan Jadoon, MNA Mr. Khurram Shehzad, MNA Ms. Wajiha Akram, MNA Ms. Sajida Begum, MNA Ms. Farukh Khan, MNA Mr. Usman Ibrahim, MNA Rana Iradat Shareef Khan, MNA Mr. Rasheed Ahmed Khan and MNA Syed Javed Shah Jilani, MNA Ms. Shandana Gulzar Khan, MNA Dr. Haider Ali Khan and MNA Mr. Mohsin Dawar Khan as Special invitees.