KARACHI: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Mian Nasser Hyatt Magoo on Wednesday said that Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi has promised to waive the demurrage/detention charges incurring over the extended Eidul Fitr holidays/lockdown.

A delegation of the FPCCI led by Mr Magoo met with the minister at PNSC House. Pakistan Foreign Investors Forum (PFIF) Founder President Khurram Tariq Sayeed and Secretary General Sheikh Sultan Rehman were also present in the meeting.

Mr Maggo emphasised that shipping companies only allow limited days of free storage from the date of arrival of the cargo. Due to the banks being closed over the extended Eid break, the documents would not be cleared within stipulated period and that will expose the cargo to hefty demurrage/detention charges, he explained.

The Carriage of Goods by Sea Act and Bill of Lading Act have been languishing in parliament for over 15 years now. The PTI government must make sure that these Acts are passed without further delay so that the various charges, including shipping company charges can be streamlined once and for all, the apex chamber head maintained. He further said that presently the sector was being governed by hundreds of years old law, whereby steam ships and containers are still referred to as sailing ships and crates.

On the occasion, Mr Sayeed pointed out that the federal government is not letting wind and solar projects of 617 MWs which were awarded lowest tariffs in country’s history at an average of US cents 3.64/Kwh (Rs5.9/Kwh), from moving forward and materialising. On the other hand, the government is signing a new project of 1263 MW on imported RLNG that will produce much expensive energy between US cents 6/Kwh to 11/Kwh (Rs9.7/Kwh to Rs17.8/Kwh) and will also add to circular debt and import bill in foreign exchange, he added.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2021

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