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Shipping cos & terminal operators are taking undue advantage amid COVID-19 by charging demurrage and detention charges :Syed Ahsan Shah

Shipping cos & terminal operators are taking undue advantage amid COVID-19 by charging demurrage and detention charges :Syed Ahsan Shah

MULTAN: Chairman All Pakistan Bedsheets & Upholstery Manufacturers Association (APBUMA) Syed Muhammad Ahsan Shah said that in this challenging time world economies are collapsing but shipping companies are taking undue benefit of on-going situation by charging demurrage and detention charges on export and import shipment.

He said that textile sector is facing serious challenges due to Covid-19 virus and whole industry was shut down due to contain corona virus. Shipping companies are openly denying government directions to waive demurrage and detention charges during pandemic corona virus situation and charging unfair charges from exporters.

Pakistan is one of the textile based export country and it is even worst situation for textile as COVID-19 pandemic is unfolding. The chairman APUBMA was expressing his views on the decision of charging additional charges in terms of demurrage and detention on clearance of import and export shipment. He said that business community of South Punjab is facing huge financial crisis after cancellation of textile orders from abroad and we are not in position to pay any sort of holding charges from shipping companies. He said that blackmailing of shipping companies and terminal operators are not releasing their shipment and delivery of raw material along with machinery causing serious hurdles for the industry.

He welcomed the government decision to cut the interest rate and said it was actually demand of the business circles of Pakistan from quite a long time. He praised the proactive approach of State Bank of Pakistan and Prime Minister for sensing the ground realities in context of corona virus. He was of the view that State Bank of Pakistan under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran is doing a tremendous job and has taken various measures to support the local industry and business.

Ahsan Shah said that in entire world interest rates are brought to zero and same should be reflected in the monitory policy of Pakistan owing to closure of large industries, small and medium businesses, ports, airports and transport.

He said that Governor SBP has stated to keep a close watch on the economic conditions to further downward revise in policy rate. He further said that apart from reduction in policy rates, there were other good news from our international partners to boost hopes of trade and industry in Pakistan. He said that deferred loan payments by IMF, G-20 and China and by Middle Eastern donors is indeed great opportunity to revitalize our economy and help us sail these turbulent waters with a little ease.

He requested to Honorable Prime Minister Imran Khan to fully support the textile sector and export oriented industries of Pakistan to not only survive this global crisis but sustain to harvest post COVID-19 opportunities.

He said that Federal Board of Revenue and Ministry of Commerce have requested shipping companies to support manufacturing sector by waiving demurrage and detention charges from importers and exporters but they refused to compliance on government decision.

Shipping companies and terminal operators are paying no attention to decisions of Ministry of Port Shipping and Maritime by charging additional charges despite of lock down in the country.

Terminal operator and shipping companies are not ready to cooperate with importers and exporters which is also worrisome situation for government. Government should use their powers to implement government decision and take strict action against violators for charging any additional demurrage and detention charges amid corona virus.