PESHAWAR                 -             Fruits traders and exporters have urged the Pakistani and Afghanistan authorities concerned to abolish illegal and excessive duties aimed to give boost to mutual trade between the two neighboring countries and save them from further financial losses. The demand was made in a meeting of the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, Maqsood Anwar and All Pakistan Agriculture Produce Traders’ Federation (APAPTF) central president Malik Sohni here at chamber house on Thursday.

The SCCI senior vice president, Shahid Hussain, Peshawar Fruits Traders’ Association president Haji Alaf Khan, fruits traders and exporters, Norani Khan, Hazrat Rahman, Khawani Khan, Nasir Khan and Moin Khan were present in the meeting.

The traders described the higher regulatory duties, delay in the issuance of visas and lack of facilities on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border as major hurdle to the enhancement of bilateral trade, and urged upon Islamabad and Kabul to remove trust deficit to improve the trade volume.

Maqsood, while speaking on the occasion, urged upon both Pakistan and Afghanistan governments to bring easiness and flexibility in their trade policies, besides take measures to facilitate business community on both sides of the border, so as it will help further boost to bilateral trade between the two neighboring countries. He noted that mutual trade ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan have substantially decreased due to high regulatory and tariffs as well as lack of facilities at both sides of the border.

The SCCI chief called upon Islamabad and Kabul to take joint steps to remove obstacles in the way of mutual trade, and demanded timely issuance of visas to business community. Besides, Malik Sohni said that collection of millions of rupees on head of different taxes from fruits and vegetable traders by the government have badly affected the mutual trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan.