MULTAN: Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) President Khawaja Muhammad Usman has said that inefficiency of Multan Dry Port authorities forcing local importers and exporters to do business through Karachi.
He said this while addressing a meeting with Collector Customs Tausif Ahmed Qureshi of Model Customs Collectorate. Multan Dry Port Trust Chairman Khawaja Muhammad Younus, DGCCI President Muhammad Anees Khawaja were also present on the occasion.
Khawaja Usman said the main purpose to establish dry ports was to facilitate local industry so that business community could get their goods without any difficulty, but the customs officials by taking advantage, charge traders arbitrarily instead of following any rules.
He said due to non-availability of Railway locomotives, less cargo bogies and lack of any particular formula for evaluation of goods at City dry port, business community was facing severe problems. It is observed that NLC was charging highly exorbitant handling goods with irrational. He said Multan Dry Port had failed to attract importers from Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Khanewal, Vehari, Rajanpur and many other cities due to discriminatory attitude of Customs officials, as they preferred to clear their import consignments in Karachi.
The clearance of goods at the Multan dry port is very expensive because customs officials determine cost of the goods much higher than those in Karachi. While highlighting the concerns, he said Customs Clearance Procedure at Multan Customs is very slow and it takes three to four days usually and if any kind of dispute arises then there is no time limit. Usman said that the Collectorate Customs in Multan is not ready to give the rightful duty benefit to poultry industry. He said the business community in general and importers in particular face hardships in clearance of goods at the Multan dry port that was established with the sole objective to facilitate the upcountry areas.
Collector Customs Tausif Ahmed Qureshi assured that grievances of the traders and business community would be redressed immediately and an Additional Collector Customs Asif Abbas was deputed at Multan airport and he would be available anytime at site.
He said lack of professionalism is main hurdle in the way to clearance but “we would now provide Karachi like facilities in Multan.” He asked the staff not to harass or victimise anyone and they should perform their duties with dedication and politeness. He urged upon the importers and exporters to get clear their clearance at Multan dry port and not to waste their time and money in Karachi. He said “to ease the rush at Karachi Sea Ports, the government decided to set up a chain of upcountry dry ports to provide the customs clearance facilities at the door step of exporters, importers.”
He listened to the complaint of the audience and assured that past mistakes would not be repeated and qualitative services would be provided to them and assured he would raise the issue of dual port wharfage in Multan to attract the importers and rebate payment procedure would be made easy and simple. He further assured that all checks in WEBOC system would be removed for early clearance of consignments.