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LAHORE: While appreciating ban on luxury items to control trade deficit, President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Mian Nauman Kabir has jumped in to rescue the importers whose containers are stuck at the ports and causing huge demurrage charges.

In a statement, LCCI President said that no detention charges should be levied as it is not the fault of the importers but the government.

Mian Nauman Kabir urged the government that the import orders already in place for the banned luxury items, should be cleared first and containers at ports should be released without demurrage to avoid huge loss to the importers.

In a statement, LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir said that the importers are bearing heavy loss as heavy loss is being occurred on the containers which are stuck at the ports.

He said that the government will have to clear the import orders already in place otherwise importers will suffer a huge setback because they will not be able to recover their payments already made to their exporting partners for the items on the banned list.

Mian Nauman Kabir said that we have been approached by many of our member firms which are facing issues due to the implementation of SRO 598(I) 2022 dated 19th May 2022.

The shipments of various commercial importers and traders which were originated before the issuance of the said SRO are stuck at the port.

As a result, heavy demurrage/detention charges are being imposed by the port authorities, which is causing a lot of distress in the business community and escalating their cost of doing business.

“Ban on import of luxury items has been imposed to curtail the import bill and ultimately the mounting trade deficit. However, import orders already in place for these banned items must be allowed to get cleared”, the LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir added.

The LCCI President emphasized that it would be illegal to enforce the ban on the orders placed before the decision was taken by the government.

Mian Nauman Kabir said that the business community appreciates the ban on non-essential luxury items in general; as it will save precious foreign exchange in the current time of crisis. But the business community also pinned its hopes on the government.

He said that keeping in view the scenario, the implementation period of this SRO should be extended and waive off the demurrage charges so that the members of the business community whose shipments were in pipeline before the issuance of the SRO may not bear the extra cost.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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