The government released Rs.58 million for the development of Integrated Transit Trade Management System (ITTMS) under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2018-19.
The ITTMS is being developed under the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Regional Improving Border Services Project for which an amount of Rs840 million has been allocated in the federal PSDP 2018-19, including foreign aid of Rs550 million.
The project envisages establishment of state-of-the-art facilities at Wagah, Torkham and Chaman border crossing points, official sources said adding that once completed, it would enable significant reduction in processing times at the border crossing points.
“The project is of great strategic importance from both a security and trade point of view,” they added.
The total cost of the ITTMS project has been estimated at Rs31, 626.2 million which included the foreign exchange component of Rs26049.7 million.
The project was approved by Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) in September 2015.
Pakistan has a great importance in the region owing to its unique geostrategic position and all the potential to become the most preferred corridor for trade in South and Central Asia.
However, due to very weak and almost rudimentary trade related infrastructure, Pakistan missed the opportunity to channel the trade from and to the landlocked neighboring countries and other emerging economies of the world, including China and India to become part of the massive global supply chain.
The ITTMS was being executed under Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation-Regional Improving Border Services (CAREC-RIBS).
The project would help upgrade the infrastructure at border crossing points, in the context of CAREC Corridor for trade to support a modern supply chain.
The project included development of one-window ICT based systems and procedures. The cargo movement from and to Karachi going upcountry for internal consumption within the country or for transit movement destined to exit from Chamman, Torkham and Wagha would be processed and routed through an integrated system to reduce dwell time for cargo clearance and onward dispatch.
It would ensure proper exit of outbound cargo, keeping check on the backward flow of goods, decrease incidence of smuggling for keeping a strict check on passengers’ baggage, pave the way for one-window operations at country and regional level and pave way for introduction of Authorized Economic Operators.
It is pertinent to mention here that Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is an executing agency and a project management unit has been established at the FBR which would act as project owner.
It has been providing guidance and oversight to the overall implementation and performance of the project.