Commerce ministry, FBR ‘hurdle’ in diesel export to Tajikistan

ISLAMABAD - Tajikistan has approached the stated-owned oil company Pakistan State Oil for the supply of diesel, it was learnt reliably here.
In the beginning, Tajikistan is interested to import 100000 tonnes of diesel from Pakistan but once the route is established its is going to be the cornerstone of Pakistan’s business relations with Central Asian state, an official source told The Nation here Friday. But unfortunately, the Ministry of Commerce and Federal Board of Revenue seem to impede the move, the source lamented.
“Ministry of Commerce suggested Pakistan State Oil that it will need to get export license if it want to supply petroleum products to Tajikistan,” the source elaborated. Besides, the ministry of petroleum and natural resources had asked FBR to provide guidelines for the imposition of taxes and duties on the export of diesel. But, despite the passage of two months, the ministry is still waiting to hear from Federal Board of Revenue on the issue, the source informed.
The suggestion of ministry of commerce regarding export license is not workable as it will make diesel more expensive for Tajikistan and they will never buy it, the source said. “If PSO imports diesel and pays local duties and taxes and then re-export to Tajikistan it will make the process lengthy and the product more expensive, the source explained.
“Once we get a green signal from the Ministry of Commerce then we have to get Afghanistan government consent for using Afghan soil for the transportation of diesel,” the source said.
The source said that due to the policies of the FBR, Ministry of commerce and the Ministry of Industries, Pakistan has lost a major share of Afghan transit trade to Iran and they are not trying to show any flexibility.
Developing trade relations with Afghanistan and other Central Asian States is also part of Pakistan’s foreign policy and the federal ministry and departments are required to facilitate trade boosting moves and not hinder it, the source said.
When asked about the capabilities of PSO to undertake the diesel export venture, the source said that they are quite capable of exporting petroleum products not only to Tajikistan but also to Afghanistan. “We have an efficient trucking system which can ensure the timely supply of any petroleum products to our neighboring countries,” the source claimed.
Among the Central Asian countries, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are producers/exporters of various oil products while Tajikistan imports oil and gas. It is estimated that the consumer market of Tajikistan for oil/gas is around 2.5 to 3 million liters per day.
It is pertinent to mention here that after the removal of international sanctions Iran has started the export of oil and gas to Tajikistan. Iran is also exporting oil to Afghanistan.

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