Kabul, Afghanistan – Afghan fruiterer and exporters worried about their gross income amid increasing tariffs by Pakistan, according to sources, as the country announced looking for new markets to export coals out of Afghanistan.
According to farmers, Pakistan increases customs tariffs in fresh fruit exports every year, when most harvest their best products – mainly fruits.
“Apple customs taxes have again been increased by Pakistan, previously customs were approximately 12,000 but now have increased to 40,000 to 50,000,” said Mohammad Ullah, a local seller, as TOLOnews quoted. “If it continues like this, we will have a big loss.”
Dozens of trucks and transportation vehicles are halted at the border crossing due to sudden hike in custom tariffs, said Afghanistan Fruit & Vegetable Traders Union, saying Pakistan does not charge for vegetables at the moment but has doubled the tariffs on fruits.
“We call on the current government to make an agreement at the start of the year with Pakistan so Pakistan can’t made changes in custom tariffs until end of the year,” said Akhtar Mohammad Ahmadi, head of the Union of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.
Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce and investment said export options for fresh fruit to South Asian countries are weak due to limited flights to those countries.
“The only market we have is South Asia–Pakistan and India–and our fundamental problem is the lack of an air corridor for exporting fresh fruit,” said Khan Jan Alkozay, senior vice chairman of the ACCI, as local media quoted.
“We have exported through the air corridor 20,000 to 25,000 tons fruit every year,” he added.
According to the Chamber of Commerce and Investment, the rate of exports in 1400 was $300 million, but exports have increased, with the biggest export being coal from Afghanistan to Pakistan, as TOLOnews reported.
- Kabul Eyes China, India for Coal Exports, Expanding Global Market
- Kabul Sees Hike in Coal Exports Amid Rise in Fuel Prices in Int’l Markets
- Poverty Forces Desperate Families on Kabul Streets
- Political Crisis ‘Hit Hard’ Private Sectors in Afghanistan: Latest Survey
Earlier, the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum on Sunday said Afghanistan is looking for new markets to expands distribution of its coal, as India and China show interest in the product.
Pakistan is the biggest buyer of Afghan coal for many years, covering its winter needs for thousands of households in the country.
According to the official of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, separate delegations from China and India have discussed purchasing Afghan coal, as they eye to expands its reach for exporting natural resources.
“China’s delegations want a safe way to export the country’s coal, for now Badakhshan is a good way but Badakhshan doesn’t have good roads and Chah Bahar is another way,” said Esmatullah Burhan, spokesman for the Mines and Petroleum Ministry, as TOLOnews quoted.
Chamber of Commerce and Investment said the coal mines provides job opportunities for Afghans in the country.
“Coal, and the export of coal, makes up ten to fifteen percent of job opportunities,” said Khan Jan Alokozai, a member of the board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce and Investment.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan National Standards Authority seeks to start a lab to stabilize the quality of coal and gain credibility in global markets.
“We want to activate a lab to standardize the quality of our coal and this confirmation will allow our coal to count in global markets,” said Ashiq Ullah Wazir spokesman for Afghanistan National Standards Authority, as local media quoted.