Demurrage, detention charges cause huge outflow of dollars: Chief Collector

Demurrage, detention charges cause huge outflow of dollars: Chief Collector

KARACHI: A huge sum of dollars are going out of country because of demurrage and detention charges, said Muhammad Yaqoob Mako, Chief Collector, Customs Enforcement South, Karachi.

“The dollars are going out of the country due to demurrage and detention, and the country is currently going through difficult situations in which we all have to play a role,” he said during his recent visit to Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI).

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It is worth mentioning that the importers are facing huge amount of demurrage and detention charges because of delay in opening of Letter of Credit (LCs) by commercial banks. The banks are not opening the LCs due to shortage of dollars. But on the other hand the importers are paying demurrage and detention charges in foreign currency.

During discussions Mako said that measures are also being taken for innovation in customs, along with providing facilities to traders, the struggle to prevent smuggling is ongoing.

He further said that customs was trying to resolve the complaints of industrialists within 48 hours. Information is provided to the complainant along with the reasons within a few hours. Report immediately if any official harasses.

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President KATI Faraz-ur-Rehman, Senior Vice President Nighat Awan, Vice President Muslim Mohammadi, Standing Committee Chairman Masood Naqi, Former Presidents Farhan-ur-Rehman, Danish Khan, Ehtshamuddin, Tariq Malik and others were also present in the ceremony.

Chief Collector Customs Yaqoob Mako further said that there is a determination to provide customs facilities. KATI should provide suggestions, and grievances which can be redressed through mutual consultation. The Chief Collector said that despite the problems faced by the customs, there is a continuous decrease in smuggling which is delightful.

Earlier, KATI President Faraz-ur-Rehman said that the steps taken by the customs officials and officers to eradicate the menace of smuggling helping to stabilize the economy despite the lack of resources and manpower is commendable.

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He said that due to the containers being stuck at the port, the business community is suffering a lot. The State Bank policy should clarify what to do next, and how the losses of traders and industrialists can be avoided from this difficult situation.

Containers are not being cleared despite permission from State Bank, he added.

“Demurrage and other penalties are also being levied in dollars, causing foreign exchange losses due to delays,” he added.

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President KATI said that trade can be promoted on the barter system considering the shortage of dollars. There is a need for a clear policy for the government and State Bank in this regard. Faraz-ur-Rehman said that the situation is difficult but it is not hard to get out of it.

Chairman Standing Committee and Former President KATi Masood Naqi said that unfortunately, the economic situation has been like this for many years. We are facing a shortage of foreign exchange reserves for which concerted action is needed. Due to the non-issuance of LCs, smuggling is also increasing. Businessmen are facing the most difficult conditions in history.