Government Forms Committee to Address Barter Trade Proposal in Balochistan

Barter Trade Proposal in Balochistan

The government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has formed a high-powered committee to explore a potential solution for 13 border districts in Balochistan, adjacent to Afghanistan and Iran. Traders have proposed legalizing oil imports from Iran, suggesting a levy of either Rs30 or Rs50 per liter. The blockade of border areas, due to fencing, has caused significant challenges, leading to protests lasting 282 days. Economic sanctions on Iran by the US add complexity to the situation. The committee, headed by the commerce minister and comprising other ministers and bureaucrats, aims to address these issues while avoiding sanctions violations.

Approximately 56% of Balochistan’s population resides in these 13 districts, with an estimated one million liters of oil products smuggled daily from Iran. Traders suggest imposing a levy to contribute to the national treasury, potentially resolving bribery issues at check-posts. The committee is tasked with presenting a detailed report to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for a final decision. Promotion of bilateral trade through barter trade and substance markets is also under consideration to boost trade in border areas.