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In compliance with the directions of Prime Minister of Pakistan, the Pakistan Customs has deputed additional staff at Torkham border to facilitate trade and expedite clearance of baggage and cargo. In this regard, the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Establishment matters Mr. Arbab Shezad had convened meetings to address the matter on war footing, accordingly Dr. Jawwad Uwais Agha, Member Customs (Operations), Federal Board of Revenue, Islamabad has deployed a large number of customs personnel to cater to the urgent requirements at Torkham Customs.
While elaborating FBR’s seriousness, Chairman FBR Syed Shabbar Zaidi said that the exports and Transit to Afghanistan bear much promise for expansion of the customs operations at Torkham and the customs department being the premier agency has put its teams in place to brace upto this situation. Chairman further informed that around 12 thousand passengers traverse across this border station daily and their facilitation and baggage clearance is an area being addressed by Customs, besides around 300 empty containers (after offloading their cargo in Afghanistan) are also sent back daily from the Afghan side.
To implement the directions, 54 customs personnel consisting of Superintendents, Appraisers, Inspectors and other supporting staff have been withdrawn from other formations and deployed at Model Customs Collectorate of Appraisement Peshawar for Torkham. Although the customs formations are badly short in strength and request for creation of different posts is under consideration of Finance Department, however in order to give compliance to the directions of Prime Ministers Advisor on Establishment and the urgent need for expansion of the operations at Torkham, the Member (Customs Operations) has made all efforts and withdrawn customs staff for deployment in order to facilitate and expand the trade at Torkham. The customs clearance will be managed through three shifts. The day and night customs clearance operations will greatly facilitate the import and export at Torkham leading to significant reduction of transport charges and fast movement of trade.
As a prelude the customs operations have already been expanded starting from 7.00 A.M. in the morning till 9.00 pm, since the past two months. The senior Customs Operations hierarchy have paid visit to Torkham to ensure launch of these operations in the coming days. The connecting requirements for equipments and support apparatus are being placed on ground through the cooperation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. The said operations for round the clock are going to be started shortly for which formal ceremony will also take place in the presence of federal government high ups and FBR administration.