The business community alleged the State Bank for reducing Pak-Afghan trade from billion dollars to million at the Western Border.
They said that unrealistic policies, formulated by the State Bank from time to time for export to Afghanistan, have damaged the merchandise ties with the neighboring country, Afghanistan.
It is to be mentioned here that as per new State Bank policy, the Afghan businessmen must declare cash foreign currency at the border, while crossing into Pakistan for business.
An exporter and general secretary of Clearing Agent Association, Torkham, Ablan Ali Shinwari said the fresh policy of the Central Bank is far of facts, prevailed presently.
International community has freezed assets of Afghanistan as it is impossible for Afghan traders to produce cash foreign currency (dollars) at Pakistani border while conducting business as per policy of the State Bank.
Earlier, the State Bank framed trading policies keeping in view interests of the country but ironically in the present scenario, it implements the International Monetary Fund (IMF)scheme, irrespective of national benefits, Ali Shinwari regretted.
“On one hand the central bank asks the Afghan businessmen to buy trading commodities on cash payment of dollars rather than to Telegraphic Transfer (TT) on the other hand, the Pak security forces decline entry of cash money through Torkham border, then how the business will take place”, he questioned.
He maintained that for the last two months export of cement and goods of small industries have completely halted.
Shah Jehan, another clearing agent in Torkham said after Taliban take over in Afghanistan, Pak-Afghan mutual business has come almost to an end.
He informed that currently Pakistan exports perishable items (fruits and vegetables) while imports soap stones and coals from Afghanistan and it will continue for a few days till expiring of last agreements.
Closing of bank channels with Afghanistan and poor trading policies of Pakistan have suffered the mutual business alot he added and said if the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan are not taking necessary steps then the trade will be stopped between the two countries in coming few days.
According to the trading community previously they will export 800 to 1000 truck merchandise good per day to Afghanistan that has reduced to 30 t0 50 vehicles due to unfavorable business policies.
Chief Collector Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ahmad Raza Khan while talking to media persons said that since the new regime has taken over in Afghanistan, a visible fall has been noticed in export to Afghanistan and export to has decreased to 26 percent in last four months.
Poor economic policies and decline in buying power of Afghan citizens are hurdles that restrict the mutual trade, he added.
He maintained that the custom department is adhered to follow and implement the new policy, publicized by the State Bank i.e. to provide “Form E” to Afghan traders by declaring cash foreign currency at the border crossings.
According to reports the Taliban regime has directed all its citizens to ensure their inside country financial dealings in the national currency and the violators will be dealt with as per law.
Former Chief of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Zahid Shinwari said that I have never observed such a tough situation in Pak-Afghan business before and if needed steps are not adopted forthwith, I fear that the mutual trade will be ended in near future.
Until the functioning of the Central Bank of Afghanistan and recognition of Taliban regime by the world powers to release its assets in addition with relaxation of Pakistan trade policies towards Afghanistan, there is no sign of improvement of mutual business but it will go from bad to worse, Shinwari said.