The Pakistan Land Port Authority (PLPA) will be made functional in February next year after the approval of a draft bill by the Parliament in this regard. The PLPA aims to facilitate trade and resolve trading community issues through a well-integrated modern system it was informed by a delegation of the Pakistan Land Port Authority (PLPA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) during a meeting with Hasnain Khurshid Ahmad, President Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) at the Chamber’s House on Monday. The PLPA delegation headed by former member FBR Integrated Borders Management and Trade Facilitation expert, Syed Tanveer Ahmad, HR Specialist/Research and Data Analyst, Asian Development Bank Col (Retd) Muhammad Irfan and other. SCCI Senior Vice President Imran Khan Mohmand, former president Faiz Muhammad Faizi, former senior vice president and PAJCCI Vice President Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, SCCI’s Standing Committee on Land Route Chairman, Imtiaz Ali, traders, importers and exporters were present in the meeting. Hasnain Khurhsid while speaking on the occasion lauded the setting up the Pakistan Land Port Authority, saying that the initiative would ensure facilities to traders under one window operation as well as accelerate the process of trade with Afghanistan and onward to Central Asian Republics. However, he emphasized that the steps should be taken to improve the border management system, re-launch of cargo train service from Peshawar, enhancing scanning machines at all major trade routes and simplifying procedures and checking mechanism of goods consignments. The meeting was briefed about the main purpose of PLPA and its role in trade facilitation. A senior member of the delegation informed that a draft of the bill has been finalized, which is likely to be presented in the Parliament for its final approval and expressed the hope that PLPA would be made operational from February next year. Tanveer Ahmad said that the PLPA main objective is to facilitate trade and provide service to traders on one-window operation through an integrated system of different relevant departments. For this purpose, he said a hefty amount is being spent for infrastructure improvement at Torkham, Kharlachi and Chaman trade routes. Head of the delegation emphasized the need of Public-Private Partnership for bringing improvement and providing facilities to traders at the border region. Hasnain Khurshid praised the installation of modern gadgets at trade facilitation stations. However, he said that due to lack of proper facilities, the latest system is rapidly losing its importance, which has also caused many difficulties for the trading community. He called for taking serious steps to carry out smooth trade. The SCCI chief said despite the formal inauguration of Azakhel Dry port, the traders’ community is facing numerous hardships as a non-operational dry port, so serious steps are needed to be taken to address all those issues. Khurshid, on the occasion, demanded the reactivation of cargo train service from Peshawar in order to resolve issues of traders at Karachi port.