ISLAMABAD: Collector Sialkot Qurban Ali Khan admired the government decision to change rupee with dollar as currency for payments of business transactions with Afghanistan. The government decision to bind businessmen to carry out trade with their Afghan counterparts in dollar is definitely a sagacious decision at a right time which will surely boost trade and help strengthen foreign exchange reserves.
Talking exclusively with Customs Today, Qurban Ali Khan, who has recently transferred as Collector Sialkot from Federal Board of Revenue Chief (Exports), Islamabad, maintained that the economic coordination committee (ECC) decision would have far-reaching impact on the national economy.
He anticipated that the decision might draw reaction from small industrialists and traders due to the hassle entailed the new process, adding that all such reservations would subside in the long-term as soon as the businessmen started reaping benefits.
He expressed the hope that trade with Afghanistan in dollar would bring forth multiple benefits to say the least.
Former FBR Chief (Exports) pointed out that the GSP-plus status was a land mark achievement which had been made possible after hectic efforts by the present as well as previous governments. “After getting this status, Pakistani businessmen now have unfettered access to European market which will result in drastic increase in the country’s exports, especially value-added goods,” he hoped, adding that it would boost the productivity, create job opportunities and provide relief to the loadshedding-ravaged industry.
Qurban Ali revealed that the incumbent government was striving hard to enhance exports by 5 to 6 percent annually. Currently, Pakistani exports stood at 23 billion dollars per annum and the government was aiming to increase this ratio three times in the next three years.
Qurban Ali observed that there was a gigantic Customs station lying dormant at Afghan border in Waziristan agency which was the second biggest station after Torkham Customs Station in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “This Customs station could be utilised for enhancing trade which will produce astonishing results,” he elaborated, adding that major exports of cement could be enhanced through this transit point on the border with Afghanistan. “The more development we execute at borders, the more benefits we will reap in shape of enhanced imports and exports which will help streamline trade and curb cross-border trafficking,” he asserted.
To a query about depreciating foreign reserves, Qurban Ali averred that the wide gulf between exports and imports was eating away at the foreign reserves. “Look into the ratio of our exports and imports, the exports stand at 23 billion dollars as compared to imports which are as high as 40 billion dollars,” he articulated.
To another question, the former FBR Chief (exports) appreciated the government’s proposed plan to grant reciprocal NDMA status to India which, he hoped, would flourish regional trade and benefit businessmen of both the countries. “India has already given the most favourite nation (MFN) status to Pakistan in 1996 but with strings attached due to which it had failed to benefit both the neighbouring countries,” Qurban Ali concluded.