Afghanistan hikes up entry tax on Pakistani cargo trucks by 100pcPakistan
PESHAWAR: Transporters of cargo vehicles in Pakistan and Afghanistan went on strike on Saturday as the Afghan government increased entry tax for cargo transporters on both sides.
The Afghan government has introduced a 50 per cent increase in taxes levied against cargo transporters from Pakistan entering Afghanistan, raising the entry tax from 2,500 Afghani to 5,000 Afghani.
A similar hike in entry tax for Afghan transporters has increased the 1,700 Afghani duty to 2500 Afghani.
Shakir Afridi, the president of Khyber Transport Association, said the increase in entry tax from Afghanistan is "unbearable as transporters already pay thousands of rupees illegally in the name of tax".
He said the transport community in Pakistan and Afghanistan have been on strike for the past three days. They have also held meetings with Afghan borders authorities on the issue. However, no positive response on the issue has been received so far.
The official said due to the strike against the increase in entry tax, hundreds of trucks loaded with goods remain parked on both sides of the border.
President Afghan Transporters Union Haji Qasim Arab told DawnNews that the transport community of both countries stands united while the jirga of the transport association negotiates with the Afghan government for a reversal of the increase in tax.
Transporters have previously complained against law-enforcement agencies in parts of Afghanistan for having a very harsh and discouraging attitude towards them.
All Transport Trailers and Truck Owners Association Peshawar President Mohammad Yousuf Khan Afridi told Dawn last month that Pakistani transporters were detained and beaten up in Afghanistan and that their documents were snatched from them.
He also said transporters were forced to pay bribes up to Rs30,000 for each visit. Afridi said currently around 200 trucks and trailers usually get to leave Pakistan for Afghanistan daily though the number of vehicles wanting to transport goods was almost double.
“We have to rush home to avoid demurrage charges and detention but the Afghan police tease us on different pretexts,” he said.