KARACHI: The trade and business activities are badly affected in the city, as the strike of the premier body of the transporters i.e. United Goods Transporters Association (UGTA) against the non-acceptance of their demands, has entered 6th day.
The transporters’ body has made following demands to the government: reduce the rate of advance income tax imposed by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on goods carriers, free the truck stand located outside the Karachi Fisheries from the builder mafia, open Mai Kolachi for heavy vehicular traffic and issue arms license permits to the transporters for their security.
The President of UTGA Khalid Khan said that the strike will continue till the acceptance of their demands, adding that despite repeated requests, FBR has not yet reduced the rate of advance income tax collected from goods carriers.
He further said that the transporters are facing security issues and their containers loaded with goods have been snatched at gun-point from West Wharf and other spots in old city areas.
“We have repeatedly informed the high officials of police about the issues and grievances being faced by the transporters, but they did not take any step in this regard”, he added.
President Anjuman-e-Tajiraan, Karachi, Rafeeq Jadoon told Customs Today that more than 6,000 goods carriers are stand still at ports and terminals due to the transporters’ strike and if it continues, industrialists, importers and exporters could suffer huge losses, affecting the economy of the country.
“Billions of rupees loss has been reported to the country’s economy during these six days, while the exporters and importers have also suffered millions of rupees loss in terms of demurrage and detention of goods at ports and terminals”, he added.
Jadoon further said that the exporters could also suffer due to indefinite strike of the transporters, as their orders could be cancelled in case of delay of the delivery of the goods to other countries.
In a statement, President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Abdullah Zaki said that the business community cannot afford an indefinite strike by goods carriers at this point of time as it will terribly affect goods supplies within and outside the country.
He further said that the prolonged strike along with forthcoming holidays of 9th and 10th Muharram-ul-Haram will further delay the inland supplies and export consignments, besides resulting in severe containers’ congestion at the ports in the country. The immovable containers loaded with agricultural commodities will also result in shortages of these commodities in the local markets and encourage the black marketers to take advantage of the situation, he added.
President KCCI also advised the representatives of goods carriers that if they have any issue with FBR, Karachi Port Trust, or police, then they can adopt the way of discussion. He said that the KCCI will never support such strikes but will only welcome table talks.