Pak likely to charge $1000 for every NATO truck

The government has claimed that the NATO trucks have damaged roads, bridges and other infrastructure from Karachi to Torkham while the country has charged nothing from US.

Last Updated: Jan 21, 2012, 17:26 PM IST

Islamabad: A firm run by the Pakistani military will collect a fee of 1,000 dollars for every
container truck passing through the country under new
conditions for the reopening of NATO supply routes, according
to a media report on Saturday.

The government is contemplating the imposition of the fee
to be collected by the army-run National Logistics Cell (NLC)
as a condition for reopening the supply routes that were
closed in retaliation for a cross-border NATO air strike that
killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.

There is no proposal from the Federal Board of Revenue to
impose a transit fee on ISAF and NATO containers but the
government is considering a proposal to allow the NLC to
charge a fee for transportation charges and for providing No
Objection Certificates, sources privy to the development told
The News daily.

With the approval of Parliament, the Federal Board of
Revenue introduced a provision in the Customs Act of 1969 to
collect a transit fee last year.

The mechanism and rate for this is yet to be finalised.
"The proposed fee is not to be imposed by the FBR despite
getting approval in the Finance Bill 2011," an unnamed senior
official of the FBR told the daily.

Instead, the NLC will be tasked to collect the fee and to
ensure that no pilferage of NATO supplies occurs during
transit through Pakistan.

The NLC currently charges a small fee for granting NOC and
a proposal is being considered to raise this fee to 1,000
dollars per container in case NATO supplies are restored,
sources told the daily.

Under an agreement signed by former military ruler Pervez
Musharraf after he joined the US-led war on terror, NATO and
ISAF forces were allowed to transport goods through Pakistan
without paying any transit fee.

Supplies for NATO troops are shipped to Karachi and then
trucked across Pakistan, entering Afghanistan either in its
south, through the Chaman border crossing in Balochistan, or
in its east via the Khyber Pass.

Over 4,000 container trucks and about 1,000 oil tankers
passed through Pakistan every month before Islamabad shut the
supply routes last year.

Official documents tabled in Parliament last year
estimated Pakistan`s economy has sustained losses of over 68
billion dollars due to the war against terrorism.

The government has claimed that the NATO trucks have
damaged roads, bridges and other infrastructure from Karachi
to Torkham while the country has charged nothing from US and
its allies.

PTI