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March 24, 2020

FPCCI seeks to abolish port charges for a month

Business

March 24, 2020

KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has demanded relief from the government for port charges in view of the emergency situation and lockdown imposed on account of the coronavirus pandemic.

Shabbir Mansha Churra, chairman, FPCCI's Standing Committee on Customs and founder chairman of Pakistan Artificial Leather Imports and Merchants Association (PALIMA) has appealed Prime Minister Imran Khan to prevent the destruction of trade and industry.

He requested to defer port charges and late duty payments and fines till the country was in lockdown. “The goods arriving at the ports have to pay duty within 10 days, but due to the lockdown, the importers are unable to pay the duty on time, so they have to pay a daily fine which may go up to 100,000,” he added.

The FPCCI official said the government has taken stringent steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which has badly affected lives as well as economic activities. “Business activities are frozen and the business community is facing severe financial losses,” he added.

He requested to defer late duty fines and waiver off charges in term of demurrage and detention charges at ports for at least one month. Churra also requested an extension of 90 days in sales tax filing and withholding tax. He said that due to the coronavirus, the emergency was implemented under Force Majeure Clause worldwide.

According to international law, after the implementation of this clause, all agreements and taxes were deferred to provide relief in difficult conditions. “The prime minister should waiver off all port charges and fines for a month to save trade and industry from this economic crisis.”

He also requested the give relief from banks. He assured to support the government’s efforts to curb coronavirus epidemic. Meanwhile, former president Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Siraj Kassam Teli on Monday briefed senior lawmakers about the problems being suffered by trade and industry after the eruption of coronavirus.

The federal government was urged to come up with extraordinary relief measures to ensure that the wheels of the industry keep on spinning without any interruption with a view to secure jobs of the workers,” a statement said.