KARACHI: The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) plans to establish a regulatory authority shortly to determine the demurrage charges at the port and resolve related issues, said KPT Chairman Muhammad Tariq Huda on Monday.

Addressing the luncheon held at the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (Kati), Mr Huda said he was trying to reduce the demurrage charges but could not do so due to some unavoidable reasons, a Kati press release said.

The business community will soon be invited to the KPT head office where a cut in demurrage charges would formally be announced, he announced.

He added that all the containers were stopped at the port after the government placed an import ban on May 19 due to which demurrage charges were incurred. However, the government has now allowed the clearing of all stuck-up boxes.

According to the Kati press release, the KPT chairman claimed that since 2002, no port charges had been increased. However, employee salaries and other administrative expenses have increased. This is the reason why the operating profit and revenue are equal. In the past, KPT’s profit was high and many development projects were completed including the KPT flyover, underpass, and other projects.

He added that due to a lack of budget, it is difficult to bear the expenses of development projects. Now is the time to take concrete steps to increase the income of KPT.

“We will start Pakistan’s single window operation which will provide facilities to importers and exporters,” said Mr Huda.

If the Pipri railway track is completed, 100 containers can be cleared from the port immediately. Apart from this, the elimination of marine pollution also becomes our responsibility to take all possible measures. KPT is throwing 8,000 tonnes of garbage into the sea every day, which has increased the pollution, he said.

Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2022

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