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LPA, land ports in the making to boost trade: Dastgir

LPA, land ports in the making to boost trade: Dastgir

ISLAMABAD: A Land Port Authority (LPA) will be established to facilitate the promotion of trade through land routes with all regional countries including India while modern infrastructure will be developed at Chaman, Torkham and Wagah check-points to boost trade.

Moreover, land ports will also be established at Taftan and Monabao-Khokhropar to channelize regional trade.

This was declared by Federal Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir while addressing a joint press conference along with Textile Minister Abbas Khan Afridi here.

Dastgir said that the proposed land ports would be directly linked to the Federal Board of Revenue through modern Information Technology, adding that regulatory authorities would be formed to enhance linkage and cooperation among various agencies working at land ports to create harmony among them.

He claimed that trade with India was in the favour of Pakistan and the arch-rival would be granted non-discriminatory status once the new government took over reins in the neighbouring country, adding that it may take a few months.

The Commerce Minister said that a new model of export promotion would be introduced in Pakistan. He, however, admitted that there was no mechanism for boosting exports at the moment, adding that currently Rs 20 billion of the export development fund was stuck with the Finance Ministry.

Dastgir pointed out that the best way to end corruption was constant monitoring. “We can announce traders-friendly policies but in the end, it is other departments who enforce these policies,” he informed.

Speaking on the occasion, Textile Minister Abbas Afridi said that a new five-year textile policy will be announced in July 2014 and new variety of BT cotton would also be approved for sowing.