Imports from Pakistan to Afghanistan drop by 80pc this year


MAZAR-I-SHARIF: As its trade with Central Asia states has been on the rise, Afghanistan’s imports from Pakistan have declined by 80 percent, say traders in northern Balkh province.
Due to commerce and transit issues between Afghanistan and Pakistan, businesspeople in the province say imports through the Torkham port have precipitously fallen.
Meanwhile, officials of the customs department say their revenue in 2017 had increased by 16 percent over last year, thanks to increased imports via Hairatan port from Central Asia.
Customs Director Abdul Rahman Rasikh told Afghan media that most of Afghanistan’s customs revenue came from taxes on imported business goods. He called Hairatan port one of the most essential trade hubs.
According to him, imports through the port were more than exports. He said during the current year, the Balkh port collected revenue of 12 billion afghanis, recording a 16 percent increase over last year.
Rasikh called increased imports through the Hairatan port a key factor behind enhanced revenue levels. He added the import of steel, grains, timber, flour and fuel had recently increased.
Falling imports through the Torkham port was another reason behind surging imports through Hairatan, the director explained.
Frequent border closures by Pakistan over the past two years and transit problems between the neighbours had resulted in the decrease of imports through the Torkham crossing point, he added.-NNI