PESHAWAR: The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry expressed concern over the closure of ATMs and insisted that the government’s hasty decision without consulting trade bodies would severely affect Pakistan-Afghanistan trade and exports regional.
The issue was discussed at a meeting chaired by SCCI President Sherbaz Bilour and attended by traders, exporters and importers in the House Chamber here on Friday.
Attendees included SCCI Senior Vice President, Engineer Manzoor Elahi, Vice President Junaid Altaf and other businessmen.
They said the government ordered the immediate removal of ATMs from July 1, 2021, causing unrest among traders, exporters and importers.
Emphasizes rushed government decision to affect Pakistan-Afghan trade
Mr Bilour said the annual Pakistan-Afghanistan trade volume was $ 2.5 billion five years ago, but had fallen to less than $ 600 million and would drop to zero if the government continued to develop policies and make decisions without consulting stakeholders.
He expressed reservations about the closing of the counters and alleged that some people in the government were trying to harm the country’s economy and that the abolition of this facility was one of those measures.
SCCI President said companies in Punjab in general and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular have strong ties to those in Afghanistan and Central Asian states, but unilateral government policies and decisions will not be lacking. not to seriously affect them.
He said industrial and commercial activities would slow down due to such policies and could trigger unemployment and have negative impacts on the national economy.
Bilour urged the Federal Government and the State Bank of Pakistan to develop a joint mechanism in light of the proposal from traders and other stakeholders to boost the country’s trade with Afghanistan and increase its exports to regional states to help stabilize the national economy and create vast employment opportunities for residents.
He said the government’s abrupt decision created unrest and disappointment among traders.
“Such policies and decisions are not in the interest of business and the national economy, so they should be withdrawn immediately,” he said.
Posted in Dawn, le 10 July 2021