The Ministry of Transport (MoT) on Tuesday said it is drafting trade and transit agreements with regional countries in a bid to ease cross-border transport processes.
According to the ministry, the lack of transport agreements between Afghanistan and some neighboring countries has resulted in numerous problems for long-distance truck drivers trying to move goods across borders.
The acting transport minister Hamidullah Tahmasbi said once these agreements have been signed with neighboring countries the trade volume between Afghanistan and regional countries will increase.
“Unfortunately there are not proper transit agreements with the neighboring countries in place. We are trying to pave the way for our trucks and passenger vehicles to enter neighboring countries,” said Tahmasbi.
Tahmasbi also said there has been no transparency in the past few years in terms of revenue collection in this sector.
He said the ministry is working hard to increase revenue as it works to stamp out corruption.
According to Tahmasbi, one big problem was the widespread practice of using fake customs documents. However, a new system will be introduced where from next month it will be virtually impossible to forge the documents.
“The current papers they use can be easily forged; because it lacks specific signs – without any security marks. We have ordered the printing of new documents, which will be printed within the next month and distributed countrywide,” Tahmasbi added.
Transport ministry officials also said in the last month they managed to collect an additional 17 million AFs in road tariffs from four points of entry into Kabul. The ministry said by next year scanners will be installed at Kabul entrances, which will also help generate more revenue.
Meanwhile a number of economic analysts said transport was a potentially viable sector in terms of revenue generation for government but they called for reforms to be brought in the sector.
“If government increases transparency and accountability, doubtless everyone will pay the tax and customs fees,” economic analyst Abdul Wasee Haidari said.