21 June 2021 –
PESHAWAR: A delegation of businessmen from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa called on Federal Minister for Railways, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati and apprised him about the problems being faced by them due to lack of facilities at Azhakhel Dry Port in the Nowshera district of KP.
Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi, a prominent businessman and convener for the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries Standing Committee on Railways, led the delegation, said a press release.
The delegation members complained to the minister that the Azakhel Dry Port had not become functional even after one year. Zia Sarhadi told the minister that the dry port was inaugurated on Jan 10, last year, but it still lacked the basic facilities as a result of which businessmen were facing a lot of problems.
He recalled that at the time of the inauguration, some announcements were made that the new dry port would provide one window operation facility while an export cargo train service would be launched between Karachi and Peshawar.
Zia Sarhadi, Imtiaz Ahmad Ali and Farooq Ahmed pointed out that the cargo train service would provide a lot of facilities to exporters and businessmen of KP who would be able to send export cargo from Azhakhel dry port.
The delegation members said KP was blessed with a lot of mineral resources and other items, including gems, marble, furniture, handicraft, carpet, honey, match etc. All these items, they added, were exported through transportation in goods trucks instead of Railways because of the lack of the cargo train. Zia Sarhadi said the Customs clearance of all these goods were made in Karachi while shipping agents exported them abroad, rendering more than 250 clearing agents in KP jobless.
Speaking to the delegation, Federal Minister for Railways, Muhammad Azam Swati said he was aware of the problems being faced by the business community and was taking measures for their resolution. He added that the export cargo train and Afghan Transit Trade Goods Train would be leased out to the private sector as a result of which the Azakhel Dry Port would become functional as well.