February 14, 2019: The government has so far released an amount of Rs116 million for the development of Integrated Transit Trade Management System (ITTMS) being developed under the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Regional Improving Border Service Project.
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 government had earmarked Rs840 million for the project under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the fiscal year 2018-19, with foreign assistance of Rs550 million, official sources said.
The total cost of the ITTMS project has been estimated at Rs 31,626.2 million which included the foreign exchange component of Rs 26049.7 million.
The project was approved by Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) in September 2015.
Pakistan had 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 had 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 sources added.
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.
Meanwhile, the government has so far released Rs356.540 million for various ongoing and new projects of Revenue Division under PSDP 2018-19.
The government in its Federal PSDP had earmarked Rs1470.2 million for the Revenue Division projects, with foreign exchange component of Rs552 million, according to the latest data of Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform.