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Up country dry ports vital for interregional trade: Ishaq

Up country dry ports vital for interregional trade: Ishaq

SIALKOT: All Pakistan Dry Ports Association Chairman Muhammad Ishaq Butt said that the role of up country dry ports will become vital in the future with the growth of inter-regional trade, especially due to improving trade relations among Saarc countries and predictable peace in the region.

Talking to Customs Today here, he said that all issues related to the up county dry ports would be resolved on priority to drive full benefits from these interlinked terminals.

Ishaq Butt, who is also the Chairman of Sialkot Dry Port Trust (SDPT), proudly informed that Sialkot Dry Port Trust (SDPT) enjoyed a unique honour of being the first-ever dry port in private sector established in 1985 in the entire Asia.

He said that Sialkot Dry Port Trust (SDPT) was the pioneer of dry ports in private sector, which facilitated the export/import of the region at their doorsteps.

Muhammad Ishaq Butt told this reporter that the up country dry ports were facing a number of issues due to implementation of WeBOC. He said that there was no such infrastructure to respond quickly to address these issues. Due to absence of trouble shooting/problems solving mechanism, considerable delays are observed which causes cancellation of GDs, missing of vessels of export goods and additional financial loss to all the stakeholders, he pointed out.

“Installation of scanners at Karachi ports and high frequency of checking of customs bonded cargo at Karachi ports was need of the hour, which was already examined and checked by the Customs and ANF at up country dry ports, causing missing of the vessels and extra costs. Moreover, ruthlessly opening of cartons for rechecking causes extra costs and receiving of damage cargo at destination result not only in financial losses to the exporters but also earn bad name for the country,” Ishaq Butt detailed.

He said that there were a number of ports handling export and import cargo at Karachi both in private and public sectors. He regretted that these ports were levying huge amounts of charges for handling export and import cargo.