Stuck-up export consignments at Indian ports; Exporters demand a task force

KARACHI: Exporters have demanded of the government to form a task force to solve the issue as a large number of consignments exported to India are stuck at Indian ports after neighboring country an across the board 200 percent duty on all imports from Pakistan.

Vice President FPCCI Gulzar Feroz said a number of consignments of leather products, textiles and other goods were stuck at Indian ports, as the Indian importers were not getting the same released, while these consignments were not being re-exported back to Pakistan either.

“A task force needs to be formed to solve this issue, as exporters are suffering,” Feroz added.

On February 17, India imposed a 200-percent customs duty on goods imported from Pakistan due to a withdrawal of the most favored nation status from the country after the Pulwama incident.

Truck loads of cement, dates and some other items from Pakistan are languishing at the Attari border among others. Most of Pakistan exports to India are through Wagah border. Indian importers have paid for these goods mostly, but they find it impossible to take delivery because of the duty hike.

President Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association Javed Bilwani confirmed that export consignments were still stuck there adding that even before this stand-off, exports to India was a tricky thing, as there were many non-tariff barriers.

“However, the Indian importers can get these goods cleared at previous duty rates through courts as almost all these orders were before the duty was increased and letter of credits (LCs) were opened before the notification issued by Indian government,” Bilwani added.

An exporter said the government had not taken any step to resolve the issue, while the exporters were losing business as well as clients.

The trade balance between the countries is almost $2.0 billion and in India’s favor. This makes the circumstances dismal on India’s end in case of a reciprocation of the response.

Pakistan’s exports to India are worth almost $484 million as of FY18 versus imports of about $1.8 billion.

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