Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Senior Vice President (SVP) Saquib Fayyaz Magoon has said that the business, trade and industrial community is in a state of shock and disbelief at a threefold increase in container terminal charges.

The terminal fee has gone up since Karachi Gateway Terminal Limited (KGTL) took over the management of the container terminal at Karachi Port’s East Wharf. Previously, the charges were Rs150 per tonne but now they have been raised to Rs480 per tonne, he said, according to a statement released by the FPCCI on Tuesday.

He demanded that KGTL rationalise the container terminal rates with immediate effect and any future increase should be announced two to three months in advance. Additionally, they should not act unilaterally without engaging in consultation with the relevant stakeholders.

The FPCCI SVP stressed that shipping lines and container terminals needed to be brought under a strong and effective regulatory authority to put an end to the exploitation of importers and exporters.

“Trade is the backbone of any economy and traders cannot be left at the mercy of container terminals,” he added.

KGTL CEO Khurram Aziz Khan visited the FPCCI head office in Karachi to interact and get feedback of the business community on their services and charges at Karachi Port. He offered to constitute a high-profile committee with FPCCI’s nominees to look into the grievances, complaints, issues and feedback of traders from the apex platform.

“FPCCI is the right place to engage with the trading community,” he said and elaborated on KGTL’s expansion plans for infrastructure development at their container terminal.

“We are going to spend $75 million in the next two years and another $100 million in a time span of five years in order to bring world-class, cutting-edge and efficient infrastructure, machinery and technologies to Karachi Port,” he said.

He pointed out that KGTL had signed an agreement with Karachi Port Trust, which comes under the Ministry of Maritime Affairs. “Therefore, KGTL comes under the legal jurisdiction of Pakistan.”

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