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Commerce ministry, Dry Ports Association meeting to discuss outstanding issues today

Commerce ministry, Dry Ports Association meeting to discuss outstanding issues today

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) and All Pakistan Dry Ports Association (APDPA) are going to join heads to seek solution to outstanding issues confronted by the APDPA from tax, customs and other relevant authorities.

Considerable delay in refund of rebate claims, WeBOC system, ruthless rechecking by ANF, frequency of rechecking of custom bonded exports consignments, insufficient and untrained staff of ANF deputed at all the ports, payment of double port handling charges once at upcountry dry ports then at Karachi Ports, levy of 17 percent Punjab Sales Tax by Punjab Revenue Authority, Finance Department, Government of Punjab, blockade of bonded carriers’ licenses of all upcountry dry ports and others of these natures have been long standing issues of the dry ports association.

A well-placed source privy to Ministry for Commerce told this scribe here on Wednesday that a APDPA’s representative delegation is going to hold a crucial meeting with Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan here at the Ministry  today (Thursday) to take the deliberations on the considerations of dry ports associations further ahead.

The source said that the delegation will take up issues pertaining to unavailability of proper storage facilities for exporters at dry ports by the government to enable exporters to keep their perishable products fresh for a comparative longer duration.

The source observed that APDPA had serious concerns about the non provision and insufficient facilities of Customs at dry ports which hamper the speedy and timely export of Pakistani products and amounts to lower volume of exports.

Similarly, the source said that both the sides would also discuss on the upcoming legislation regarding establishment of Land Port Authority at border terminals including, Wagah, Torkham/ Jamrud, Chaman, Sust and Taftan as the Sust Dry Port was being jointly run by the government and private sectors because land for this port was provided by local people.

It is pertinent to note here that a Dry Port is an inland inter modal terminal directly connected by road or rail to a seaport and operating as a centre for the trans-shipment of sea cargo to inland destinations. In addition to their role in cargo trans-shipment, dry ports may also include facilities for storage and consolidation of goods, maintenance for road or rail cargo carriers and customs clearance services. The location of these facilities at a dry port relieves competition for storage and customs space at the seaport itself.

At present dry ports are being run under the management of the government and private sector. Dry ports under the government management are Lahore Dry Port (Established in 1973), Karachi Dry Port (Established in 1974), Quetta Dry Port( Established in 1984), Peshawar Dry Port( Established in 1986), Multan Dry Port( Established in 1988) and Rawalpindi Dry Port( Established in 1990).

Similarly, dry ports running under private sector management include Sialkot Dry Port (Established in 1986), Faisalabad Dry Port (Established in 1994), Pak-China Sust Dry Port, NLC Dry Port at Thokar Niaz Beg Lahore, NLC Dry Port at Quetta, QICT Dry port at Premnagar Railway station Established in 2010, Sialkot International Container Terminal [SICTL] and New Multimodal Dry Port at Airport Road, Sambrial-Sialkot.