Kochi: Plea to waive demurrage

M.K. Raghavan, MP, has sought the intervention of the Union government to stop the collection of demurrage and ground rent from importers and exporters at the Vallarpadam Container Freight Station as they are helpless to ship the containers by road or through any other channel due to the lockdown regulations. ​

In an online representation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Union Ministers on Monday, Mr. Raghavan said the practice of levying ground rent and demurrage at the Vallarpadom container terminal was doubling the financial burden on many small-scale exporters and importers from the northern Kerala region. ​

Mr. Raghavan, who took up the issue following the importers’ petition, also pointed out that the charge was being collected unmindful of the waivers already announced by the Ministry of Shipping on March 31 to support the operators in the field and help them manage the unexpected financial crisis during the lockdown period.

According to Mr. Raghavan, the lockdown regulations had already stalled the goods movement across the State and resulted in the halt of containers in large numbers at the Vallarpadam terminal. “In the absence of developed port facilities here, the majority of importers and exporters from the Malabar region are depending on the facilities at Vallarpadam terminal, which is now accused of charging the unfair amount,” he said.

The MP appealed to the Prime Minister to immediately issue an order stopping the collection of all service charges at the Vallarpadam terminal.

He also held the Vallarpadam Container Freight Station management responsible for violation of the Union government’s order even after it was pinpointed by various traders’ forum and the Federation of the Indian Chambers of Commerce.

Source: The Hindu