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Terminal operators & shipping lines of Pakistan urged to forego charges

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KARACHI : Almost 90 per cent out of over 5,700 stuck-up containers are lying at the private terminals and the rest at the state-owned Karachi Port and Port Qasim, said Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Tariq Yousuf recently.

The KCCI Chief said KPT and PQA have waived off demurrage charges and private terminals have already been requested by the government to do the same.

Mr Yousuf, in a statement, said the business community understands that private terminals and shipping lines are also businesses and operate at a very hefty cost to make earnings in an extremely challenging environment.

He, however, added that it was not necessary to generate maximum profits all the time so they must forgo some portion of their profitability for once which would certainly prove beneficial for their businesses in the long run.

He urged the government to also pressurise shipping lines and terminal operators to give one-time waivers in demurrage and detention charges as they must understand that this amount was coming to them as extra profit because, in normal circumstances, containers do not stay for that long and do not attract that kind of a windfall.

“Shipping lines and terminal operators must understand an extraordinary situation wherein they should not be charging something which was not according to their normal profitability, he said, adding that the value of goods inside the container is less than these charges, the KCCI chief said.

Zubair Motiwalla, Chairman of Businessmen Group (BMG), told that he discussed a very critical issue with State Bank of Pakistan Deputy Governor Dr Inayat Hussain about problems in opening LCs at sight.

An LC at sight is a letter of credit that is payable immediately (within five to 10 days). It is the quickest form of payment for sellers, who are often exporting to overseas buyers.

Mr Motiwalla claimed that the SBP deputy governor had promised to resolve the matter on priority by Monday or Tuesday.

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