Daily The Business

Free demurrages, detention time period be extended till COVID-19 ends: FEBR

Jahangir Hayat

LAHORE: Friends of Economics and Business Reforms (FEBR) president
Kashif Anwar has urged the government to take up the issue of
demurrages and detention on priority basis to facilitate the business
community in the wake of the time of worst type of the pandemic
COVID_19 which have played havoc with the trade and industry all
across the globe.

He was talking to the Daily The Business here on Wednesday.

He said that governments across the globe are facilitating their
industrialist and businessmen while the super power US has announced
over two trillion dollars package to support its inhabitants including
trades and industrialists to keep its economy somehow or the other on
the track.

However, in case of Pakistan it is utterly discouraging that the
Private Terminals have over rightly rejected the proposal of its main
revenue collecting authority the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) about
the enhancement of free detection and demurrage period which is no way
understandable.

He said that said that at the time when everything is locked down and
the same has been further extended for the next two weeks how will it
be possible for the commercials and industrialist importers to pay
such the exorbitant detention and demurrage charges.

In the absence of feasible economic conditions the payment circle has
been badly disturbed and it is impossible for the importers to pay the
uncalled for detention and demurrage changes.

“The government should use its power to force the private shipping
line to extend the period of detention and demurrages till the current
COVID-19 story ends, “the FEBR president Kashif Anwar highlighted.

He said that FBR and the government should take up the issue with the
Ministry of Port and Shipping for immediate redressal of the issue to
avoid the untoward consequences.

Talking about the principal amounts deferment by the banks he said
that business community appreciates the government, however; this must
be kept in mind that interest payment will not be deferred which is
again next to difficult for the business community to be competitive
in the market.

“This will bring in an unprecedented level of inflation due to the
record rise in the cost of doing business,” Anwar warned, urging the
government to do the needful at the crucial juncture.

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