Exporters concerned about payments from Afghanistan: FIEO

New Delhi, Aug 19 (PTI) Bilateral trade with Afghanistan has been impacted and Indian exporters are concerned about their payments as banking services and remittances may face restrictions due to the ongoing situation in that country, industry body FIEO said on Thursday.

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) Director General Ajay Sahai said it is advising exporters to take credit insurance to safeguard their business interests against default.

With the growing uncertainties, trade with Afghanistan has been impacted, he said, adding imports through the land route which passes through Pakistan have been the most affected.

As informed by businesses, Sahai said, while restrictions on the Afghanistan side no longer remain, Pakistan continues to seal the Torkham border, while some movement of personnel was permitted on the Chaman border.

“Exporters are concerned and watching the development. Exporters are concerned with payments also as banking or remittances may face some restrictions,” he added.

The bilateral trade stood at USD 1.4 billion in 2020-21 as against USD 1.52 billion in 2019-20. Exports from India were USD 826 million and imports aggregated to USD 510 million in 2020-21.

Afghan exports to India include dried raisins, walnuts, almonds, fig, pine nut, pistachios, dried apricot and fresh fruits such as apricot, cherry, watermelon, and medicinal herbs. India’s outbound shipments to that country include tea, coffee, pepper and cotton.

The Taliban swept across Afghanistan earlier this month, seizing control of almost all key Afghan towns and cities following the withdrawal of the US forces from the country. Kabul also fell to the Taliban on Sunday after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani left the country.