KP businessmen demand to revise Axle load regime

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Businessmen of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have rejected the Axle load regime, implemented by National Highways Authority, what they called it as against their interest and investors, asked to review the decision for smooth functioning of the industries in the country.

Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) president Faiz Muhammad Faizi while addressing a news conference at the chamber house here on Monday said that the National Highway Authority had introduced the Axle load regime, restricting limit of tonnage of container at 24 tons from 30 tons. He said that policy was against interest of investors and business growth and such unilateral decisions unacceptable to them, he warned.

SCCI chief said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has already disadvantage due to far away from the sea-city, while the government such anti-business policies would further affect the exports and industries of the province.

He expressed fear that the after implementation of the regime, the Afghan Transit trade business, would shift from Pakistan to Iran. Essentially, he added that the export-oriented industry of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would be adversely affected.

The chamber Vice president, Haris Mufti, Industrialist Association Hayatabad president, Zarak Khan Khattak, SVP Ayub Zarkori, former APTMA provincial president and SCCI president, Afan Aziz, Haripur Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Attaur Rehman, former president Haji Mohammad Afzal, traders, SCCI executive body members, industrialists, traders and people attached with Afghan transit Trade business were present during the press conference.

Faiz Muhammad said that the KP industries are primarily dependent on containerized shipment on road for DTRE/LC/FATR/Afghan Transit. He said the gross weight of sealed containers as per international standard is 30 ton per average but the ordinance limits tonnage of container at 24 ton.

He furthermore informed that around 350 containers were being stuck up at various weigh stations in Sindh and Punjab following the implementation of the decision by National Highway Authority.

SCCI president elaborated that it is technically impossible to transport 30 ton sealed container from Karachi to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which can disable traders these areas to work in DTRE/ Bonded/LC/FATR regimes as sealed containers are required for the said purpose.  Furthermore, he alleged that conspiracy was being hatched to further damage the war-affected business of KP.

So, he said that proposed regime is unfair and unjustified, which should be deferred and reverse to clear the huge KP consignments pending in other provinces. He asked the government and NHA to take relevant stakeholders on board before framing any law and policies.

Zarak Khan Khattak, Attaur Rehman, Afan Aziz, Haji Mohammad Afzal and other also spoke on the occasion and criticized those government policies, especially imposition of unilateral Axle load regime, which was reflecting ant-business policies of it.

On this occasion during a meeting held under Sarhad Chamber od Commerce and Industry Chief Commissioner, Regional Tax Office, Qaiser Iqbal has called upon the business community to take full benefit from the assets declaration ordinance, recently introduced by federal government to broaden the existing tax-net, which will be the last opportunity for those people to disclose hidden assets within the country and abroad.