(MENAFN- Pajhwok Afghan News)
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Pakistan says it will continue to import coal from Afghanistan as long as prices of the commodity remain affordable.
Last week, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif gave the go-ahead to coal imports from Afghanistan in Pakistani rupees, rather than dollars.
Amid imports from the neighbouring country, the interim Afghan government recently hiked coal prices from $90 to $200 a tonne.
To Islamabad's chagrin, a media report said on Monday, the cost spike was triggered by a 30 percent duty and taxes that Kabul imposed on coal.
The News quoted Federal Finance Minister Miftah Ismail as saying that Pakistan was interested in importing coal from Afghanistan.
However, according to the report, the minister insisted on rate affordability and commercial viability of the deal for his energy-deficient country.
Another official told the newspaper the government would also encourage the private sector to import coal from Afghanistan.
Private-sector importers would be facilitated through better management of the Durand Line and rail transport, the official suggested.
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