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Taliban start collecting taxes in Spin Boldak, Wesh areas

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QUETTA: Taliban, who captured the Afghan border district of Spin Boldak early this month, on Tuesday imposed new tariff and started collecting taxes on goods coming into Afghanistan or going to Pakistan, a day after Pakistan reopened the border for trade activities after a suspension of over two weeks because of the fighting between Taliban and Afghan security troops.

The border was sealed by Pakistan after heavy fighting in Spin Boldak and Wesh areas of Afghanistan between Taliban and Afghan government forces.

Pakistan reopened its border with Afghanistan after consulting Taliban officials who are now running the day-to-day affairs of areas under their control.

Government officials requesting anonymity said that Taliban were now collecting taxes from trucks and containers entering Afghanistan or going to Pakistan.

“Taliban have issued a 20-page tax document mentioning tariff of different goods coming into Afghanistan or going to Pakistan,” Imran Khan Kakar, the vice president of Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI), told Dawn by phone from Chaman. He said that Taliban officials in Wesh were getting taxes which they themselves had fixed on every import and export item.

“The Afghan and Pakistani importers and exporters have to pay taxes and other duties twice,” Mr Kakar, who himself is running an import and export business with Afghanistan, said. He further said that after paying taxes to Taliban, the importers and exporters had to pay taxes to the Afghan government officials on reaching Kandahar.

He said that Pakistani officials were also collecting taxes according to the tariff fixed by the Federal Board of Revenue.

“We are not facing any issue at the Pakistan side of the border and trucks carrying Afghan transit or other trade goods are crossing into Afghanistan smoothly after completing all formalities,” he said.

Published in Dawn, July 28th , 2021

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