Islamabad: Pakistan government has decided to double service charges for transit cargo being sent via the country to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and US personnel stationed in Afghanistan.
While the current service charge for every container is Rs 5,000, the new rate from January 01, 2012 will be Rs 10,000 per container, an unnamed official of the Finance Ministry was quoted as saying The Express Tribune.
The new rate will apply to all shipments for US, ISAF and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan.
The charge is meant to recover costs incurred on trucking, documentation and toll taxes.
Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh approved the proposal during a meeting of the National Logistic Board. The National Highway Authority recently said that NATO and ISAF container trucks have caused damage worth Rs 124 billion to the national road network.
ISAF and NATO cargo came under scrutiny after containers marked for Afghanistan went missing in Pakistani territory.
The Federal Board of Revenue is currently scrutinising US and NATO cargo traffic to determine the exact number of missing containers and the losses caused to the national economy in the form of damage to local industry and loss of tariff revenue.
Officials have also reviewed the implementation of a monitoring and coordination scheme for US, ISAF and NATO cargo.
They reviewed options for sealing and scanning containers, installation of tracking devices and setting up check points.