PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Land Port Authority (PLPA) will be made functional in February next year after assenting a draft Act by the parliament in this regard.
The PLPA aims at to facilitate trade and resolve trading community issues through a well-integrated modern system, it was informed by a delegation of Pakistan Land Port Authority (PLPA) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) during a meeting with Hasnain Khurshid Ahmad, President Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) here at the Chamber’s House on Monday.
The PLPA delegation headed by former member FBR Integrated Borders Management and Trade Facilitation expert, Syed Tanveer Ahmad, HR Specialist/Research and Data Analyst, Asian Development Bank retired Col Muhammad Irfan and other.
SCCI Senior Vice President Imran Khan Mohmand, former president Faiz Muhammad Faizi, former senior vice president and PAJCCI Vice President Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, SCCI’s Standing Committee on Land Route Chairman, Imtiaz Ali, traders, importers and exporters were present in the meeting.
Hasnain Khurhsid while speaking on the occasion lauded the setting up Pakistan Land Port Authority, saying that the government’s initiative would ensure facilities to traders under one window operation as well as accelerate the process of trade with Afghanistan and onward to Central Asian Republics.
However, he emphasized that the steps should be taken to improve the border management system, re-launch of cargo train service from Peshawar, enhancing scanning machines at all major trade routes and simplifying procedures and checking mechanism of goods consignments.
The meeting was briefed about the main purpose of PLPA and its role in trade facilitation.
A senior member of the delegation informed that a draft of the Act has been finalized, which is likely to present in parliament for its final assent and hoped that PLPA would be made operational from February next year.
Tanveer Ahmad said the PLPA main objective is to facilitate trade and provide service to traders on one-window operation through an integrated system of different relevant departments.
For this purpose, he said a hefty amount is being spent for infrastructure improvement at Torkham, Kharlachi and Chaman trade routes.
Head of the delegation emphasized the need of Public-Private Partnership for bringing improvement and providing facilities to traders at the border region.
Hasnain Khurshid praised the installation of modern gadgets at trade facilitation stations. However, he said the latest system is rapidly losing its importance owing to lack of proper facilities, which has also caused many difficulties for the trading community. He called for taking serious steps to carryout smooth trade.
The SCCI chief said despite the formal inauguration of Azakhel Dry port, the traders’ community has been faced with numerous hardship owing to not fully operational of dryport, so serious steps are needed to be taken to address all those issues.
Khurshid, on the occasion, demanded the reactivation of cargo train service from Peshawar in order to resolve issues of traders at Karachi port. He also stressed the need of resolving hurdles to Pak-Afghan mutual trade and onward trade to regional countries.