The government may reduce port tariffs on some specific categories following request from the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) to this effect.
The government earlier formed a committee for this purpose. The committee, comprising representatives of different ministries, departments, port authorities and business bodies has submitted its report along with its recommendations to the ministry of finance.
The designated committee after visiting Chittagong port and reviewing port charges in neighbouring countries has suggested reduction in port charges initially for a one-year period, a deputy secretary of the shipping ministry on condition of anonymity told the FE.
BGMEA requested the government to reduce the port tariffs that were increased by the immediate past caretaker government.
The committee has recommended reduction of per tonne unstuffing charge to Tk 200 from the present rate of Tk 300. In 1982 the charge was Tk 92.
Per tonne wharf rate for the first seven days is now Tk 9.84. The committee recommended it to be Tk 6.56. In 1982 the rate was Tk 2.46.
For the subsequent seven days per tonne wharf rate is now Tk 24.60. The committee recommended it to be Tk 16.40. The rate was Tk 6.15 in 1982.
The hoisting charge will also be reduced as per the rates of unstuffing charges. The committee recommended giving 15 per cent rebate on the lift-on and lift-off charges.
For the first seven days the storage charge on FCL container is now around Tk 432. The committee recommended reducing the rate to Tk 288. It was Tk 100 in 1982.
The other rates considered to be reduced are extra movement charge, and terminal handling charge.
“We want immediate implementation of the recommendations made by the committee in the interest of the country’s export and business,” Abdus Salam Murshedey, president of BGMEA, told the FE Friday.
Representatives of the shipping ministry, FBCCI, Chittagong Metropolitan Chamber (CMC), Shippers’ Council, Chittagong Port Authortiy, Mangla Port Authority, ministries of finance and commerce and NBR are in the committee.