Banks for lambasted for sabotage Pak-Turkey cargo train first run

Lahore: Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo, President FPCCI has appreciated the public-private partnership in making Pak-Turkey cargo train service possible; and, commended the successful and timely completion of its first run.

He appreciated the efficient operational coordination and integration of Pakistan Railways and private sector to make it possible; which will have a multiplier effect on bilateral trade volume of Pakistan with Turkey and Azerbaijan as well.

President FPCCI also acknowledged and appreciated the historically relentless efforts of the FPCCI’s Pakistan-Turkey Joint Business Council (PTJBC) over the past twenty years to make the dream of Pak-Turkey land-based trade a realty; which will be cost-effective, time-saving and reliable.

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo, however, lambasted the bottlenecks being thrown in the way by the commercial banks through their reluctance to issue export forms (e-forms) and import forms (i-forms) for the land-based trade with turkey through train and trucks under transnational and UN-ratified TIR Convention on the false and fabricated pretext that it involves trade with a sanctioned country.

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo added that FPCCI had written a letter to Mr. Shaukat Tarin, Federal Minister of Finance & Revenue, in December 2021 to apprise him of the issue; but, unfortunately, no action has been taken as yet. He maintained that the business and trade community of Pakistan is very enthusiastic on the prospects of land-based trade with Azerbaijan and Turkey that they have heavily pre-booked the truck and train cargoes under TIR; whereas the initial truck-based cargoes under TIR have successfully reached Azerbaijan and Turkey in October 2021.

Amjad Rafi, Chairman of FPCCI’s Pakistan-Turkey Joint Business Council (PTJBC) for the past twenty plus years, has demanded that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) should swing into action immediately, through the regulatory mechanism at its disposal, to make the commercial banks start playing their legally-binding facilitative role to issue trade documentation to the business and trade community of the country; which will surely lead to larger volumes of bilateral trade with Turkey due to lower freight costs and timely deliveries in approximately 14 days instead of 30 days.

FPCCI Chief has proposed that the Government of Pakistan should form an empowered committee to look into the matter for a speedy resolution before anymore damage can be done. The proposed committee should be headed by FPCCI President, by virtue of post; and, representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Commerce, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and National Logistics Cell (NLC).