Textile exporters demand PNSC revival

Say it will help resolve problems arising from cartelisation of foreign cargo services

Our Correspondent August 06, 2021


Textile exporters have called on the government to revive and strengthen Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) in a bid to address the challenges arising from cartelisation of foreign cargo services.

Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Central Chairman Sohail Sheikh and Chief Coordinator Ijaz Khokhar said that global logistics and air freight companies had hiked courier and cargo rates by up to 70% in the past six months.

“This has adversely affected Pakistan’s exporters and sparked problems for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) associated with the apparel sector,” they said.

They pointed out that international shipping lines had raised freight cost last year. However, they voiced hope that with effective government intervention, Pakistan’s export growth could be sustained.

“New entrepreneurs, a majority of whom are running businesses online, have been severely impacted by the persistent hike in the cost of DHL parcel service,” said Sheikh.

“As a short-term solution, the government should waive taxes on courier service, especially for the export-oriented SMEs in a bid to slash the cost of doing business.”

As a long-term measure, the country needed to revive and upgrade the PIA cargo service, PNSC and Pakistan Post to reduce the dependence of businesses on global cargo and courier services, Sheikh pointed out.

He lamented that at present PNSC was not functioning and urged the government to revive the shipping company as well as acquire containerised ships, under its umbrella, on lease to facilitate the exporters. “This strategy, in particular, can help the government keep freight cost in check and turn textile exports competitive in the global market,” he said. “It seems that Covid-19 has provided an opportunity to the international logistic companies and shipping lines to enhance freight charges exorbitantly,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2021.

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