Demurrage/detention charges at Pakistani port incurring over the extended Eid holiday/lockdown to be waived: Ali Haider Zaidi,

Ali Haider Zaidi, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, has committed to FPCCI President that Demurrage/Detention charges incurring over the extended Eid Holidays/Lockdown will be waived. Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo led the delegation, President FPCCI, who called on the Minister and Khurram Tariq Sayeed, Founder President of Pakistan Foreign Investors Forum (FIF) Sheikh Sultan Rehman, SG FIF.

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo emphasized that the shipping companies only allow limited days of free storage from the date of arrival of the cargo; and, due to the banks being closed over the extended Eid Holidays/lockdown, the documents would not be cleared within the stipulated period and that will expose the cargo to hefty demurrage/detention charges.

Furthermore, FPCCI President said that the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act and Bill of Lading Act has been languishing in the Parliament for over 15 years now; and, the PTI Government must make sure that these Acts are passed without further delay. Resultantly, the various charges, including shipping company charges, can be streamlined once and for all. He further stated that presently the sector is being governed by hundreds of years old law, whereby steamships and containers are still referred to as sailing ships and crates.

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo also appreciated Ministry’s vision under Ali Haider Zaidi’s leadership in formulating new shipping policies related to Transhipment and Deep Sea Fishing; which, once promulgated, would make Pakistan a desirable transhipment market; aid in the export of value-added seafood; and generating foreign exchange inflows to Pakistan.

President FPCCI also raised the issue of non-inclusion of FPCCI nominee on KPT Board. The Minister assured the President FPCCI that one nominee of the apex representative business, industry, and trade body of Pakistan would be inducted into the KPT Board.

Mr Khurram Tariq Sayeed highlighted the issue of high energy cost in Pakistan and drew the attention of the Minister – who also happens to be a member of the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) – to the fact that, on the one hand, the Federal Government is not letting Wind & Solar Projects of 617 MWs, which were awarded lowest tariffs in country’s history at an average of US Cents 3.64/Kwh (Pak Rs. 5.9/Kwh), from moving forward and materializing. But, on the other hand, they are signing a new project of 1263 MW on imported RLNG that will produce much expensive energy between US Cents 6/Kwh to 11/Kwh (Rs. 9.7/Kwh to Rs. 17.8/Kwh) and will also add to the circular debt and import bill in foreign exchange. Mr Zaidi assured me that he would take up the matter with relevant authorities.

The Minister was ably assisted by *Mr. Nadir Mumtaz Warraich, Chairman Karachi Port Trust (KPT); Mr Mahmood Moulvi, Advisor to Ministry of Maritime Affairs; Mr Rizwan Ahmed, Federal Secretary Ministry of Maritime Affairs;* while *Mr. Adnan Asad, Ex. President American Business Council* was also present during the meeting.

Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo, President FPCCI, thanked the Minister for taking quick and immediate decisions to benefit the business community of Pakistan.

Posted in Article & Features.

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