Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif has given go ahead to setting up a National Single Window (NSW) to manage the country’s external trade, media sources have reported. After a number of complaints had been lodged regarding complicated trade procedures, the PM decided to take away the management of trade from the Ministry of Commerce. An official is reported to have said that the PM was not satisfied with the performance of the commerce ministry as the manual processing of trade documents led to malpractice and fraud.
The NSW is aimed at providing solutions for imports, exports, transit trade, trade through border customs stations and air cargo.
The Customs department will be leading the operations of NSW and preparations are already underway to allow for this change.
Around 50 countries have implemented the NSW system to facilitate trade, simplify procedures and promote electronic business.
The NSW initiative is of due importance as the country is fast progressing towards trade and economic initiatives arising as a result of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation and Community Investment Tax Relief.
As per the PM’s orders, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman is instructed to move a summary after due consultation with all the stakeholders. In this regard, all stakeholders need to be consulted and integrated into the NSW in a structured manner.
Moreover, the PM has directed that all regulatory bodies will continue to have their respective powers while their functions will be carried out through electronic access to the NSW.