Kabul - Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) on Saturday said Pakistan has tripled the tariffs on 120 types of Afghan goods that are being exported to Pakistan. ACCI officials said because of this many Afghan traders have stopped exporting goods to Pakistan, reported ToloNews.

According to ACCI figures, Pakistan has increased the tariff on each ton of grapes from 8,000 Pakistani rupees to 28,000 rupees. “On 17 October Pakistan increased tariffs on Afghan goods. Unfortunately they have increased the tariffs by three or four times on (perishable) goods that need to be sent urgently otherwise they will rot,” ACCI deputy head Khan Jan Alokozay said.

Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries officials said by increasing tariffs so drastically, Afghan traders stand to lose a lot of money but that Pakistani traders will also face heavy financial losses. They said when Pakistan increases tariffs traders will have to increase the price of their goods.

“We hope that both governments pay special attention to this problem and prevent the people from losing jobs. If the situation continues, the trade volume won’t increase between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” ACCI deputy chief Yunus Mohmand said.

Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) meanwhile said they are waiting for the Pakistani government’s response in this regard and will take action after they hear from Pakistani officials. “We have not received any response from Pakistan. Let’s see why they did this and we need to know if it is based on Pakistan’s policy or based on the laws and agreements. We will take action after that,” MoCI spokesman Musafir Qoqandi said.

A number of fresh fruit exporters said now is the season to export pomegranates and apples and if the tariff increase continues, Afghan traders and farmers will face heavy financial losses. “We stopped the exports, but some people buy grapes and export to Pakistan. We want government to stop those people,” Akhtar Mohammad, head of Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Union said.

Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries said fresh and dried fruits, carpets and gemstones are the primary goods that Afghanistan exports to Pakistan and then on to other countries.