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Private Terminals defy govt’s direction about free demurrages and detention days

Private Terminals defy govt’s direction about free demurrages and detention days

PRGMEA Executive Committee Member Adeeb Sheikh asks PM to take notice

LAHORE: Despite the fact that the government functionaries including Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Pakistan Customs have requested and ordered the private terminals to extend free demurrages and detention days the port and shipping companies have not comply with the directions amid the COVID-19 crisis that affected the world.

This was stated by Pakistan Redymade Garment and Manufacturing and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Executive Committee member Adeeb Sheikh while talking to Customs Today here on Friday.

“This is tantamount to challenge the writ of the government and that to in the times of worst ever human crisis is an unbelievable violation on the part of the private terminals,” he said adding that using such crisis to earn profits also indicates moral deterioration of the Port and Shipping companies.

The importers are compelled to pay huge some of demurrages and detention even if they are not at fault, he added, urging the PM and Commerce Minister to take notice of the situation as the defiance of the government’s orders on the part of the terminal operators equal to challenge the writ of the government.

Talking about refunds, he urged the government to reimburse the Carry-Forward refunds of the businesses enabling them to cope with the challenging situations amid the worst ever crisis.  He said that it is commendable that the government is reimbursing refunds to the trade and industry but Carry-Forward refunds should also be given so the businessmen can better cope with the COVID-19 crisis.

Speaking about the soft loan scheme for the trade and industry, he said that only corporate sector and the permanent clients of Banks will be able to avail the government’s loan on 4 to 5 percent mark-up rate and the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs and small trades cannot benefit from the scheme because of cumbersome and lengthy procedures, especially valuation collaterals.

He said that his company has contacted the JS Bank to avail the loan offered on 4 to 5 percent by the State Bank of Pakistan but they have demanded collateral and said that the loan will be sanctioned once the valuation of the collateral is completed after two or three months.

“I have been doing work in textile sector for the last many years and have a standing which is my asset, ” he said.  The bank should pledge my ready stocks and process the loans in the shortest possible time amid COVID-19 CRISIS extending me relief in true sense as I have been the taxpayer for years, “he said, adding that if I go for valuation of my property it will take at the minimum two and a half months.

“Till the valuation and other tricky procedures are completed it will be too late to get loans after two or three months,” Sheikh stated.

He rejecting the loan scheme said that the scheme is introduced for the benefits of a specific group of businesses that hardly consist of 10 percent of the total business community.  “The government has to make separate arrangements for 90 percent of SMEs and traders to avoid unemployment and safe businesses in the country, “he stated, adding that soft loans on easy terms and conditions may be introduced to save them in these testing times amid COVID-19.