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LAHORE: Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association’s (PHMA) Central Chairman Shahzad Azam Khan has asked the government to waive off the demurrage and detention charges on all consignments of export oriented industry raw materials, stores/spares and machinery which are lying stuck at Karachi port due to delay by the banks in retiring import documents, amidst shortage of dollar in the country.

The PHMA Central Chairman, in a statement issued here on Thursday, urged the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to come up with some kind of a Special Policy to save the export industry from suffering severe losses due to delay in release of industrial raw material, stores/spares & machinery shipments.

He said that thousands of containers have piled up at ports as banks are not able to retire import documents, leading to the double paralyzation of the importers of export industry raw materials and machinery. So, the arrangements should be made to clear such stuck consignments as early as possible from the port area by providing relief in demurrage and detention charges to the consignees.

He said that if the bank does not pay on time, the containers will be lying at the ports, causing the industry importers to be charged with demurrage and detention charges. Besides, the commercial banks are charging very high margins due to the uncertainty of the dollar rate, which needs to be checked and regulated by the central bank, he added.

He added that the dollar’s high flight is continuing and the value of the rupee is declining, which needs to be addressed at the earliest. He said that due to lack of timely retirement of import documents by the commercial banks, importers of industry raw material are facing both demurrage and detention charges, which would add up their export cost.

He urged the relevant authorities to issue notification in which the port authorities and all terminal operators must be advised to refrain from imposing demurrage and detention charges on those consignments which have already arrived at the Pakistani ports but were not being cleared due to banking issues.

He said due to unfavourable circumstances in the last couple of months many exporters could not get clearance of their import cargoes of raw material due to which they are now facing heavy demurrage and detention charges. The government should get their constraints released and give them due relief by providing them exemption from such charges.

He said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail and acting Governor of State Bank should intervene and control the situation. We appeal to the authorities to take emergency measures to control the dollar rate and commercial banks should be directed to pay timely imports payments.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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