According to a statement, Speaker Asad Qaiser made the direction while chairing the Special Committee of National Assembly on Agricultural Products also attended by Minister for Planning Asad Umer, Minister for National Food Security and Research Fakhar Imam, Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar, Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
The Committee was informed that Pakistan exports more than 14,000 tons of mango worth Rs.400 million to Iran each year. In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent restriction of cross-border movement, the Government of Pakistan and Government of Iran mutually agreed to open the border for three days per week from 08:00 am to 02:00 pm for vehicles carrying traded goods.
The Iranian vehicles are allowed to enter Pakistan and on their way back, carry Pakistani goods to Iran.
Owing to the perishable nature of the product and inordinate delay in permission for trucks to enter Iran through Taftan border results in significant losses to mango exporters as well as loss of foreign exchange to the country.
The Committee recommended that the Ministry of Interior should take appropriate and urgent trade-facilitative measures during COVID-19 for opening and operation of Taftan border, five days a week, during the mango season with extended timings to facilitate mango exports to Iran.
Additionally, the Committee recommended that the Pakistani vehicles carrying mango shipments should be allowed to transport mango at Iranian ports or arrangements for a minimum of 100 containers should be made which can transport mangoes to Iran excluding containers/vehicles carrying LPG.
The Committee also deliberated on the upward revision of freight charges by Pakistan International Airlines on mango exports. The Committee urged the CEO PIA to review the freight charges for mango export and report to the Committee.
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