KHYBER: Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Dr Mohammad Ashfaq said on Saturday that import of fresh fruits from Afghanistan had gained momentum after withdrawal of sales tax on their import, which was imposed a few days ago.

He said this during his visit to Torkham border along with Collector Customs, Peshawar, Amjadur Rehman and other officials of FBR and customs department.

Dr Ashfaq said the sales tax was withdrawn on the request of Sarhad and Khyber chambers of commerce and industries and local importers and custom clearing agents.

He said that a team of FBR would soon visit Afghanistan to hold talks with the new Taliban government in order to bring improvement in the bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He hoped that the bilateral trade would increase with the passage of time.

The FBR chairman said efforts were underway to provide better facilities for speedy and transparent goods clearance at Torkham border besides resolving issues of the local customs clearing agents.

Meanwhile, hundreds of trucks loaded with fresh fruit and vegetable arrived here on Saturday after Pakistan announced withdrawal of sales tax on their import.

The fruit importers had withheld custom clearance of their consignments after Pakistan announced a significant increase in sales tax a few days ago.

Officials said on Saturday that Pakistan had increased sales tax on watermelon from Rs4,120 to Rs9,695 per ton, grapes from Rs10,850 to Rs25,620, pomegranate from Rs14,500 to Rs36,000 and apple from Rs25,400 to Rs43,713 per ton. They said that while the sales tax was withdrawnon import of watermelon, grapes and pomegranates, the additional tax imposed on apple remained unchanged. Local traders have welcomed the withdrawal of sales tax.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2021

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