FAISALABAD: The export and import business at upcountry dry ports of the country was sharply hampering and gradually sliding down due to unrealistic and distinctive policies of the government and in case this state of affairs is continued further, the dry ports would automatically sink and the investment of billions rupees in this sector would go down to drains.
This was stated by former All Pakistan Dry Ports Association president and Faisalabad Dry Port Trust Chairman Ch Muhammad Siddique. He said that the upcountry dry ports are playing a pivotal role in accelerating the country’s exports but a lethargic attitude is being adopted by the government functionaries in resolving their just issues by the concerned departments. He expressed deep concern on the problems being confronted by the upcountry dry ports and said that the exporters are shifting their business at Karachi due to considerable delay in refund of their rebate claims He further stated that equilibrium in customs duty on imports at upcountry dry ports and the Karachi Port be maintained.
Ch Siddique stressed on adoption of similar rules and custom procedures at upcountry dry ports as was applicable at Karachi Port and demanded that delay in refund of export claims should be abandoned forthwith. He explained the objectives for creation of upcountry dry ports and said that these became operative to provide customs clearance facility to exporters and importers at their door-steps.
He said that due to distinctive attitude of the government, the exporters are reluctant to use dry ports due to delay in refund of export rebate claims and other factors. He said that in case the government was willing to upkeep the dry ports, it should bound the exporters for clearance of their consignments at their door-step instead of dispatching their consignments direct to Karachi Port so as to make these upcountry dry ports financially stable.
Ch Siddique said that due to stuck-up of duty draw back, a huge amount of sales tax is also pending with Customs Department and thus the exporters working capital was getting short. To meet this short fall, the exporters are bound to get loans from banks at a very high rate which makes the cost of exporters higher as compared to Karachi exporters. He said that gas & electric shortage and unprecedented shedding was also badly affecting the exports and apprehended that if remedial measures are not made for augmentation of gas and power, the industrial sector would completely collapse.