ISLAMABAD: The government on Sunday accepted the traders’ demand and has directed Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) to suspend the axle weight load policy for one year.
Soon after the direction of the prime minister, FWO deferred the implementation of the axle load policy on M-9 motorway for one year. The decision was taken at the request of the trader community, read a statement issued by the Prime Minister Office.
The business community had been campaigning against the implementation of the axle load safety policy for highways by maintaining that this had raised their transport costs considerably, making their products uncompetitive both in the domestic and international market.
The implementation of the policy had prompted truckers to use roads other than national highways to the detriment of roads inside towns alongside these motorways. Chairman Pakistan Ships Agents Association Tariq Haleem, at the time of the implementation of the policy, said that the axle load regime is likely to hit Pakistan with an additional per annum fuel bill of $1.5 billion and a decline in exports of fruits and vegetables by Rs88 billion.
Transporters involved in Afghan transit trade have also complained about the strict implementation of axle load condition implemented by the National Highway Authority (NHA).
Traders say that NHA implementation of these measures is stricter in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and not in Balochistan, which leads to diversion of trade to that province, according to media reports.