PESHAWAR   -   The business community of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has rejected the Axle load regime implemented by National Highways Authority (NHA) and asked to review the decision for smooth functioning of the industries in the country.

Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) president Faiz Muhammad Faizi, while addressing a news conference at the chamber house here on Monday, said that the NHA introduced the Axle load regime, restricting limit of tonnage of container at 24 tons from 30 tons. He said the policy was against the interest of investors and business growth and such unilateral decision was unacceptable to them, he warned.

SCCI president said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa already have a disadvantage due to a long distance from the sea-port city, while the government’s such anti-business policies would further affect the exports and industries of the province. He expressed fear that after implementation of the regime, Afghan Transit trade business would shift from Pakistan to Iran. Essentially, he added the export-oriented industry of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would be adversely affected.

The chamber vice president, Haris Mufti, Hayatabad Industrialist Association president, Zarak Khan, Ayub Zarkori, APTMA former provincial president, Affan Aziz, Haripur Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Attaur Rehman, traders, SCCI executive body members, industrialists, traders and people attached with Afghan transit Trade business were present in the press conference.

Faizi said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa industries are primarily dependent on containerized shipment on road for DTRE/LC/FATR/Afghan Transit. He said the gross weight of sealed containers as per international standard is 30 ton per average but the ordinance limits tonnage of container at 24 ton. He added around 350 containers were being stuck up at various weigh stations in Sindh and Punjab following the implementation of the decision by NHA.

SCCI president elaborated that it is technically impossible to transport 30 ton sealed container from Karachi to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which can disable traders of these areas to work in DTRE/Bonded/LC/FATR regimes as sealed containers are required for the said purpose. He also alleged that conspiracy was being hatched to further damage the war-affected business of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The proposed regime is unfair and unjustified, he said and added which should reverse to clear the huge consignments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa pending in other provinces.

 

 He asked the government and NHA authorities to take on board relevant stakeholders before framing any law and policies.

SCCI other office bearers and industrialists also spoke on the occasion and criticized the government policies, especially imposition of unilateral Axle load regime, which was reflecting ant-business policies of it.