United Business Group demands 30-day extension in free time at ports

KARACHI: Patron-in-Chief of United Business Group (UBG) and former President of FPCCI, S M Muneer has urged Prime Minister Imran Khan and Federal Minister of Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Zaidi to extend 30-day extension of “free time” to all ports and extend additional time and relief on demurrage on cargo at ports.

Commenting on reports of the ECC extending the “free time” period on Karachi Port Trust from 5 days to 15 days, he said that the period is very short as all matters related to import and export are affected by the Corona virus and lockdown in the city adversely.

S.M Muneer said that Importers and exporters have been facing huge problems due to virus and lockdowns; entrepreneurs’ capital has been frozen while imports and exports activities are almost stagnant.

He urged the Ministry of Maritime Affairs to pay immediate attention to this issue. Container Lines should be strictly advised to wave off the detention charges within 30 days.

He noted with concern that many shipping lines charge too much and many shipping lines are receiving about $ 150 a day per container dete which is a huge burden on traders, importers and exporters.

He said countries around the world are giving huge concessions and facilities to all sectors due to the Corona epidemic, while importers, exporters and investors in Pakistan have been facing huge problems.

In these situations the business community appeal that Prime Minister should announce a waiver of the demurrage charges and extend the “free time” period to 30 days at the ports.

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