KCCI demands the establishment of a regulatory body for overseas shipping lines

Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh has assured the business community that the decision about establishing the regulatory body to govern the shipping lines will be taken after consultation with the law ministry and other stakeholders. He emphasised interaction and feedback regularly to cope with the problems related to his ministry.

Earlier, the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) urged the Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, to form a regulatory body to oversee and regulate the operations of shipping lines and freight forwarders. The business community has suffered losses from shipping lines due to their unjustified exorbitant container charges and delayed clearance of import and export cargoes from ports.

More than twenty past presidents of the KCCI gathered today to congratulate and welcome Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, on becoming a federal minister.

In his welcome address, the President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI), Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh, remarked that Pakistan’s ports and shipping sector were its most neglected sectors, and there is a dire need to establish regulatory bodies and reforms to meet current challenges and future requirements.

He drew the federal minister’s attention to a long list of problems faced by importers and exporters regarding container handling charges by shipping lines. He suggested waiving charges during delayed container transportation from ports, concessions in container rent and insurance coverage, no charges on holidays, and a cap on container rent—relaxation on security despite containers. Dispatching containers from ports between 11 pm and 5 pm was insufficient to meet the requirement, and the business community had to pay the demurrage and other unnecessary charges.

He also criticised the role of private off-dock terminals and their excessive charges.

He requested a federal minister to arrange a meeting and present him with a report about problems and issues faced by the community at the hands of shipping lines.

However, he said that since our former president of KCCI has become federal minister, we can sigh with relief and express hope that port and shipping-related issues will be resolved.

The welcoming event was also addressed by Muhammad Zubair Motiwala, Chief Executive Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, A.Q Khalil, General Secretary BMG & Former President KCCI, Anjum Nisar, Vice Chairman Businessmen Group and others and put forward valued suggestions for resolving the ports and shipping related issues and improvement in ports and shipping operation in Pakistan. Dr Iram Anjum Khan, Federal Secretary (Ministry Of Maritime Affairs), Syed Syedain Raza Zaidi, Chairman KPT and other dignitaries were also present.

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