Lahore Chamber of commerce and Industry urges government to solve issues of Bonded Carriers

Lahore, June 11, 2012 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of commerce and Industry Monday urged the government to solve the issues of the Bonded Carriers as due to their strike outward and inward movement of cargo from the ports has come to a standstill.

The LCCI acting President Kashif Younis Meher and Vice President Saeeda Nazar were talking to the former Vice President Aftab Ahmad Vohra and former President Lahore Customs Agents Association Sajid Meer.

Aftab Ahmad Vohra and Sajid Meer informed that LCCI office-bearers that about 400 to 500 containers are handled on average by bonded carriers for shipment to upcountry and Afghanistan but due to their strike both the trade and industry were in deep troubles.

After listening to their point of view, the LCCI office-bearers said that the economy of the country were already facing multiple challenges and therefore the government should make all trade and industry related decisions in consultation with the concerned stakeholders instead of taking unilateral decisions.

They said that the strike by the bonded carriers is not only depriving the government of much needed revenue but also creating problems for the people attached with this business as there are around 40 registered bonded carriers with the customs having a fleet of around 10,000 long vehicles to carry transshipment and transit cargoes from the ports.

The LCCI office-bearers said that the representatives of the bonded carriers should be provided a fair chance to plead their case so that they could be able to do their business with a peace of mind.

It is pertinent to mention here that the bonded carriers are on strike from Tuesday last and are not lifting transshipment and transit cargo to country’s dry-ports and to Afghanistan from the two ports as a mark of protest against certain proposed amendments in the Finance Bill 2012-13.

The proposed amendment in the Finance Bill 2012-13 through Clause 4(1) and Clause 4(7)(c) suggests that in case of any pilferage or disappearance (hijack) of cargo in transit or transhipment, the bonded carrier will be held responsible.

It also suggests that in case of such incident, the inland carrier (bonded carrier) will be liable for imprisonment for a term up to five years.

Though the proposed amendment is yet to become law, it has shattered confidence of bonded carriers who feel that in case of any mishap they will be penalised.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854

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