ISLAMABAD: After consultations and due recommendations by the concerned ministries, the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar Thursday decided that payments against exports to Afghanistan would no longer be in Pak Rupees and the normal trading regime would apply with effect from March 17, 2014.
The Federal Minister Ishaq Dar chaired a high level meeting to review Pakistan’s trade with Afghanistan at the Finance Ministry on Thursday.
A two-month period was, however, being given to allow exporters serving any existing contract, Dar said. It would be pertinent to mention here that the decision has been taken in view of the fact that normal banking channels were now available for transactions between the two countries.
In a meeting held today, the President KCCI drew the attention of the Finance Minister to the difficulties being faced by exporters to utilise the route of Ghulam Khan, as it was restricted for exports of cement only. He suggested that other export items should also be allowed.
The Chairman FBR and the Ministry of Commerce supported the contention of President KCCI. The Finance Minister, therefore, decided to also allow export of all other items from Ghulam Khan, which would help develop business in the backward areas of KPK and also stimulate growth of exports to Afghanistan.
To block the misuse of present limit of $10,000 for each person per trip and to check this tendency it has been decided that the present limit of $10,000 per trip per passenger be reduced to $5000. Each child up to 12-year would be entitled to 50 percent allowance while an infant would be permitted an allowance of 25 percent.
The meeting was informed that Pakistan’s export to Afghanistan during 2012-13 amounted to $2.3 billion. This also included trade undertaken in Pak Rupee estimated at 50 percent of the total exports.
The concerned ministries who shall issue necessary amendments and streamline procedures would implement these decisions.
The decision is likely to earn foreign exchange of one billion dollar, increase exports to Afghanistan, benefit business community as well as the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and reflect actual export figures of the country.
In a separate meeting held with the representatives of State Bank of Pakistan, the finance minister reviewed the limit of currency notes allowed to Pakistanis traveling abroad.
The governor SBP raised the issue that the present limit of $10,000 for each person per trip was being misused and to check this tendency it was decided that the present limit of $10,000 per trip per passenger be reduced to $5000.
The finance minister emphasised that the limit of $5,000 or equivalent per person per trip was applicable to passengers who were carrying currency notes.
The meeting was attended by Secretary Finance Dr. Waqar Masood, Secretary Commerce, Qasim Muhammad Niaz, Chairman FBR Tariq Bajwa, Adviser to Finance, Rana Asad Amin, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Yaseen Anwar and President Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce Zahid Ullah Shinwari.
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