LAHORE: While appreciating ban on luxury items to control trade deficit, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) President Mian Nauman Kabir Tuesday urged the authorities concerned to clear the containers stuck at ports, as these are causing huge demurrage charges to importers.
LCCI President told media here that though government took the decision to ban imports of luxury items in the larger interest of the local industry, therefore no detention charges should be charged as it was none of the fault of importers.
Mian Nauman Kabir urged the government that the import orders which had already been placed for the banned luxury items, should be cleared first and containers at ports should be released without demurrage to avoid huge loss to the importers.
He said that importers were bearing heavy loss on the containers which were stuck at the ports. He said that the government will have to clear the import orders already in place otherwise importers will suffer a huge setback because they will not be able to recover their payments already made to their exporting partners for the items on the banned list.
He said, “We have been approached by many of our member firms which are facing issues due to the implementation of SRO 598(I) 2022 dated 19th May 2022.
” The shipments of various commercial importers and traders which were originated before the issuance of the said SRO are stuck at the port. As a result, heavy demurrage/detention charges were being imposed by the port authorities, which was causing a lot of distress in the business community and escalating their cost of doing business.
“Ban on import of luxury items has been imposed to curtail the import bill and ultimately the mounting trade deficit. However, import orders already in place for these banned items must be allowed to get cleared,” the LCCI president added.
He emphasised that it would be illegal to enforce the ban on the orders placed before the decision was taken by the government.
Mian Nauman Kabir said that business community appreciates the ban on non-essential luxury items in general; as it will save precious foreign exchange in the current time of crisis. But the business community also pinned its hopes on government.
The president said that keeping in view the scenario, the implementation period of this SRO should be extended and wave off the demurrage charges so that the members of business community whose shipments were in pipeline before the issuance of the SRO may not bear the extra cost.