LAHORE: Pakistan Chemical Manufacturers Association (PCMA) Chairman Abrar Ahmad has urged Prime Minister Imran Khan and Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood to issue clear instructions to the concerned authorities regarding a 15-day extension in “free time” at ports and terminals so as to facilitate the importers’ cash flow as well as timely clearance of imported goods.
Ahmad complained that the ports and shipping authorities were not complying with the Federal Board of Revenue’s direction to extend the free period for importers to another 15 days in view of the prevalent corona crisis in the country.
“Owing to lockdowns imposed after the virus outbreak, chemical manufacturers are unable to lift their imported raw materials from the ports,” he deplored.
Meanwhile, PCMA Secretary General Iqbal Kidwai recalled that the FBR, on behalf of the government, had written a letter [dated March 31] to all heads of ports and shipping lines, informing that Pakistan was currently faced with massive challenges in shape of coronavirus spread, market lockdowns and restricted movements.
“The time duration to lift cargo from ports has exceeded free time as allowed to the importers under normal course of business. Therefore, the FBR, in the aforementioned letter, had advised not to receive demurrage and detention charges from the importers for a period of 15 days in addition to the free time already allowed by the port authorities,” he stated.
Kidwai lamented that ports and shipping authorities were paying no heed to the directions issued by the FBR under an agreement with the apex body of the business community, i.e. the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.