ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin presides over the first meeting of the governing council of Pakistan Single Window on Friday.—APP
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin presides over the first meeting of the governing council of Pakistan Single Window on Friday.—APP

ISLAMABAD: Finance Min­is­ter Shaukat Tarin on Friday said the Pakistan Single Window (PSW) will not only reduce time, cost and complications while contributing significantly towards ease of doing business, it will also enable the country to unlock its potential in becoming a hub for regional as well as international trade and transit.

Chairing the first meeting of the PSW’s Governing Council, the minister also asked the stakeholders to speed up the rolling out of the second and third phases to eliminate hidden costs and remove inefficiencies in governance of international trade and logistics.

PSW is a virtual system which is connecting the ministries concerned, customs, port authorities, banks and other relevant departments after major process re-engineering to provide a single window for management of international trade.

An official announcement said that the secretary of the council briefed Mr Tarin about the progress on PSW that allows parties involved in trade and transport in Pakistan to lodge standardised information and documents at a single registration point.

Second, third phases of PSW will be completed in two years

He further briefed that first phase of PSW programme has been rolled out while its 2nd and 3rd phases will be completed within the next two years.

The implementation of PSW will make Pakistan’s ports competitive by minimising the transaction costs and also enhance efficient provision of B2B and B2C value-added services. The cargo would be cleared in a minimum possible time. Over 75 regulatory departments will be fully integrated through ICT based system, providing a single point of entry to facilitate trading across borders with minimal need for any physical contact, he added.

The Governing Council is the apex body in the approved business model of PSW under Pakistan Single Window Act which was promulgated in April this year. The council comprises of key stakeholders and prominent private sector subject specialists to oversee timely completion of this important project while removing hurdles in its implementation.

The finance minister is the chairperson of PSW’s Governing Council which also includes secretary commerce, secretary M/o NFS&R, secretary maritime affairs, secretary science & technology, secretary narcotics control division, member customs operations and CEO PSW Company.Deep rooted reforms being undertaken under PSW programme by the government will promote trade competitiveness with enhanced transparency and efficiency. The new system will leverage information and communication technology to ensure better compliance with the cross-border trade regulations.

Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2021

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