Coal trade from Afghanistan picks up pace in Pakistan

Pakistan’s private companies are importing a healthy amount of coal from Afghanistan to fuel their plants, creating new and productive economic activity for the people and the government of the cash-strapped economy of Afghanistan.

The fast increasing pace of coal imports by Pakistani private sector from Afghanistan is a win-win situation for the people and the government of Afghanistan — to benefit from the bilateral trade activity, that will help somewhat stabilise the crippling economic situation of the country.

As per details, at least three Pakistani companies are involved in coal trade with Afghanistan at the private level. On the government end, no agreement has been reached between the two governments for the moment.

However, Afghanistan’s Tolo News reported that all of the three Pakistani companies buying coal from Afghanistan were related to Pakistan Army and that they were purchasing the coal at reduced rates.

The claim was rejected by Pakistani authorities, who maintained that coal imports were in fact being undertaken by private companies on both sides and had no affiliation with the Pakistan government or any institution.

The claim was also rejected by Afghanistan’s petroleum ministry, which clarified that there was no official contract with the government of Pakistan regarding export of Afghan coal.

Afghanistan’s coal trade market is one of the biggest revenue resources for the country and has been contributing heavily in running its economic cycle and benefiting miners, transporters and common Afghans.

Under the trade, the Afghan government is awarding contract to all Afghan coals businessmen who transport the extracted coal through trucks owned by Afghans and coal-laden trucks cross over into Pakistan after paying toll tax and export duty to the Afghan government.

As per benefits that have helped the Afghan government through the coal export to Pakistani private sector companies; officials had collected at least USD33.80 million in custom revenue on more than 16 billion Afghanis worth of coal exports in the last six months.

Afghanistan, since the Taliban takeover has been facing serious financial and economic crisis as global community has put sanctions on the country and refused to recognise the Taliban led government setup in the country.

The international sanctions have blocked all International banking channels in Afghanistan, making coal exports to Pakistan even more critical and crucial source of revenue for Afghan suppliers as they cannot trade with any other country at the moment.

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