Pakistan Stevedores Conference urges the government to rationalize wages at the ports during holidays

Pakistan Stevedores Conference (G) Ltd has requested the government to grant a waiver of double wages on 3 out of 6 days at Karachi Port, Port Muhammad Bin Qasim and Gwadar Port, during the long holidays, announced for this coming Eid ul Fitr. The compliance will help stakeholders to minimize the cost of operations at ports in these difficult time of Covid.

Tariq Haleem, the President of Pakistan Stevedores Conference, while drawing the attention of Mr Asad Umar (Head of NCOC), Federal Minister of Planning Development & Special Initiatives, and Mr Ali Haider Zaidi, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs – pointed out that any extra costs incurred for cargo handling at the seaports or airports would increase the cost of doing business, which ultimately passes on to end-users, thus adding the misery of the ordinary person.

He informed the ministers that exporters and importers work out their costings – projections based on the Ministry of Interior yearly circular of “Public and optional holidays for the year” which is circulated each year. The circular dated December 10, 2020, for 2021 (Eid ul Fitr holidays are for three days only), which is not matching with holidays announced on this Eid ul Fitr, which is expected to fall on May 14 or May 15.

To mitigate the losses for exporters and importers, the association has requested that for three days of the extended Eid holidays, i.e. on 10th, 11th & 12th May 2021, double wages will not apply on cargo handling operations – stevedoring work at the seaports of Pakistan. This would facilitate the Pakistani exporters and importers, Tariq Haleem pointed out.

He again suggests that the issue may be considered at a scheduled meeting of NCOC today.

Meanwhile, United Business Group (UBG) has also requested the government to consider a waiver of demurrage – free time to be extended to cover the extended Eid holidays including the Sunday, i: e total of eight days (9 – 16th May 2021), with the same facility to be extended by all containers lines for containers detention.

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