Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Afghan traders charged heavy taxes at Indian airports

Kandahar City: The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) deputy head on Tuesday said Afghan traders exporting fruits to India were charged heavy taxes at Indian airports.

Khan Jan Alokozai told Pajhwok Afghan News in an interview that some 460 metric tonnes of dried and fresh fruits worth $7 million had so far been exported to India since the launch of the Afghanistan-India air freight corridor a few months back.

Six flights carrying 360 tonnes of fresh fruits (apricots, melons and grapes) and 100 tonnes of dried fruits and medicinal herbs were flown to India from Kabul and Kandahar province, he said.

Alokozai said the air corridor provided flight facilities to Kabul and Kandahar only but would be extended to other provinces later.

According to him, fresh fruits and herbal plants that were carried in flights from Kabul to India had  been collected from several central zone provinces – Parwan, Kapisa, Logar, Wardak and Ghazni.

“The reason behind one flight from Kandahar was some technical problems in initial days of the air corridor,” he explained.

“The fruit transfer and transit agreement through the air corridor reached between Ariana Afghan Airlines (AAA) and some other foreign airlines; however, both the airlines didn’t honor their commitment and were unable to prepare the cargo aircraft in time. Hence, the agreement with AAA was terminated and instead Kam Air Airlines was contracted that resolved the issue.”

Alokozay said the newly readied cargo aircraft flew twice a week to India and had the capacity of carrying 100 tonnes of goods.

He cited the use of refrigerated containers for export of fruits via Pakistan’s Wagah port to India another reason behind the delayed flights from Kandahar through the air corridor.

From 2,000 to 2,500 of tonnes of fruits were being exported via Torkham and Spin Boldak ports throughout Pakistani territory to India on a daily basis, Alokozai said. He said flights carrying pomegranates from Kandahar to India would be restarted after the fruit’s harvest.
12/09/17 Bashir Ahmad Naadim/Pajhwok Afghan News