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KARACHI: Rice exporters are looking toward the Army Chief to resolve their issues on top priority basis as the government officials are not taking interest in resolving their issues.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday at REAP office, Muhammad Anwar Mianoor, Senior Vice Chairman Rice Exporters of Association of Pakistan (REAP) urged the Chief of Army Staff to intervene and resolve issues particularly availability of containers for exports of goods.

On the occasion, Former Chairmen REAP Abdul Rahim Janoo, Rafique Suleman, Irfan Shaikh, Members Managing Committee Deepak Kumar Advani, Asif Ali Shaikh, Mahesh Raja Manglani, former President Karachi Wholesale Grocers Association Anis Majeed, Faisal Anis, and other were also present.

Anwar Mianoor said exporters are raising their voice to government and concerned departments for the past few months; however, there is no response to resolve major issues of the trade and industry. “Rice export sector is being neglected by government ministries and rice exporters are facing huge losses,” he added.

He informed that after the Covid, shipping companies have made cartel and blackmailing exporters for containers. “We have become hostage in their (shipping companies) hand,” he said.

On the other hand, the government is not taking any steps to resolve the issue, he said and added that it looks like the Maritime Ministry does not exist.

Shipping companies issued CRO and after some time unjustly canceled them, of which exporters are facing huge financial losses.

He also demanded a complete audit of shipping companies.

He also appealed to the Prime Minister of Pakistan to take practical steps to tackle this issue, as it cannot be resolved without his personal involvement.

“We have to make policies for return of empty containers and the government should ask shipping companies to cap a fixed percentage of empty containers which will be available for export purpose”, he added. Neighbour country India has already taken such steps to facilitate the export sectors, he mentioned.

Anwar Mianoor further said that since 2019 a huge sum of $ 9 million of Pakistani rice exporters is stuck at Beirut, Lebanon and despite sending dozens of letters, Dr Reza Baqir Governor State Bank of Pakistan is not giving time for meeting with the REAP delegation.

He humbly appealed to Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa to intervene in the matter and take some steps to resolve these long pending issues and save the 2nd largest trade of Pakistan.

Abdul Rahim Janoo, Ex Chairman REAP said that Ali Zaidi after being selected as Minister has disappeared from his constituency and is not taking interest to resolve the issues related to Maritime Ministry. While, Mehmood Moulvi former chairman REAP and advisor to Maritime Affairs is also not supporting to resolve issues relate to shipping lines.

He said that President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi and Abdul Razak Dawood also visited his residence, however, issues related to rice trade still not resolved, of which exporters, traders and farmers are facing huge losses.

Former Chairmen Rafique Suleman said that if matters are not resolved, export industry will see a disaster.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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