KARACHI: Transporters are blocking goods supplies to Karachi port as their strike against extortion and trucks hijacking on highways has entered another day.
Talking to the media, the transporters have warned if the government did not pay attention to their problems, they would continue their strike for an indefinite period.
The protesting transporters said that they are struggling to attract the government’s attention to solve their unaddressed issues but so far none of the government officials or politicians has contacted them. They demanded that FBR should withdraw a 500 per cent increase in advance income tax.
Meanwhile, All Pakistan Transporters Association (APTA) has rejected the strike and termed this action as unjustified.
“The strike is unjustified as the government has agreed to solve the problems of transporters,” said Khan Dil Khan Niazi, Vice Chairman of Supreme Council of All Pakistan Transporters Association. “It is a small association of just three unions which have created chaos at seaport,” he added.
Dil Khan Niazi said that FBR chairman and Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar have held meeting with representatives of transporters and agreed to scale back the annual tax rate from Rs5 to Rs3 per kg applied on all goods carriers in the country.
However, Karachi Port Trust (KPT) officials said, “Seaport operations were going on smoothly”. They said the KPT is responsible to maintain cargo and ship handlings which continue unabated.
Officials said the KPT has however assured the transporters of providing them with an increased parking space at around fish harbour. “The transporters have just one complaint with the KPT which was about lack of ample space for parking their vehicles somewhere close to fish harbour. The KTP assured them of fulfilling their demand,” they added.