Stuck consignments: KCCI wants ministerial intervention

KARACHI: 

Irked by the delay in clearance of consignments, the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has urged Federal Minister for Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan to take notice and help in the release of containers carrying wheat, chick peas and pulses.

KCCI President Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra said complaints are being received from businessmen importing large quantities of these commodities. He added that issues are being created by the Plant Protection department at Port Qasim, which imposes fines beyond the standard prescribed procedures.

Vohra also expressed concern over the complete examination of all containers, calling the lengthy procedure impractical taking into account port congestion. He said the standard procedure is to conduct a random examination by drawing samples and sending them for testing.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 25th, 2014.

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Linkages: PR willing to run Faisalabad cargo train

FAISALABAD: Pakistan Railways (PR) is in a position to immediately resume a cargo train from Faisalabad subject to provision of consolidated demand, according to PR Deputy Divisional Superintendent (DDS) Rao Waqar Shahid.

Addressing exporters, industrialists and businessmen at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday, Shahid said that despite unavailability of a goods train from Faisalabad to Karachi, PR is ready to initiate the process if it is economically viable.

The DDS further added that two passenger trains are currently running between the two cities. “We are willing to convert one of those trains into a nonstop exclusive for Faisalabad,” he said, adding that an air-conditioned compartment can also be introduced by PR. He reiterated that he had a strong desire to begin a fast locomotive for Multan-Faisalabad-Rawalpindi.

Highlighting the safety of travelling by train, Shahid said during the last decade, 250-300 train-related casualties were reported excluding incidents of trespassing. On the other hand, 130,000 people lost their lives in road-related accidents during the same period.

Responding to a question, he clarified that there was no policy to sell out the railway land; however, it could be leased out through an open auction.

FCCI President Rizwan Ashraf said that train travel is considered the safest means of transportation. Giving the example of India’s dynamic use of the railway system, Ashraf added that PR should be modernised to play a vital role in the economic development of the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 25th, 2014.

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