KARACHI: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Agha Shahab Ahmed has urged the authorities to come up a policy to save the importers from losses due to ban imposed on imports from China because of the outbreak of corona virus.
Agha Shahab urged the relevant authority 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 from China but were not being cleared.
“Any demurrage or detention charges already applied on such consignments must immediately be waived off which would certainly be widely welcomed by the business community”, he added.
Consignments from China have been put on hold at the ports in order to prevent the outbreak of deadly corona virus, which has spread to around two dozen countries.
“Many import related documents have also not been received by relevant importers as no parcels were arriving from China and other affected countries, making it impossible for the importers to timely fulfill all the documentation formalities which are required for clearance of imported goods hence their consignments remain blocked at the ports and are resulting in additional demurrage and detention charges”, he said.
“We fully understand the sensitivity of the issue and support the government’s moves to save Pakistan, but the importers should not be penalized and relief has to be provided to the perturbed traders by waiving the demurrage and detention charges.”
He said that out of a total bilateral trade of around $12 billion between Pakistan and China, around $6 billion has been transacted so far but the downfall in trade would certainly appear by the end of current fiscal year as there is complete suspension of trade between the two countries.
“The outbreak of corona virus is an opportunity for the local industry as we have to look into the possibility of what we can produce on our own which was previously being imported from China prior to suspension of trade”, he added.