Kochi | Various industry chambers and exporter associations have urged Dubai Port World, which is managing the Vallarpadam International Tran-shipment Container terminal in Kerala, not to go ahead with the proposed increase in handling charges from January 1, saying such a move would hit port users in the state. Dubai Port World had indicated that from January 1 it proposed to implement an across-the-board increase of 3.48 per cent in their handling charges.
It is understood that the increase will include all activities. The Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Kerala chamber of Commerce and Industry and various other bodies in a statement said they fail to understand the rationale behind the proposed increase at this point in time. ‘Cochin Port is already known as a high cost Port. This has time and again resulted in the Port losing out on potential business.
The feedback from our customers in neighbouring States is that the cost at the Cochin Port is exorbitant when compared with other Ports such as in Tamil Nadu’. There is no justification whatsoever for an increase in handling charges at present, the release said. The proposed increase, when implemented, will impose a greater financial burden on the port users. This will definitely lead to further diversion of cargo to neighbouring Ports. This is a situation that the Cochin Port cannot afford.
At time when efforts are being made to ensure greater cargo movement through the Cochin Port, the move by D P World to effect an hike in charges is ‘ill timed and ill-conceived’ and will lead to a further depletion in the cargo coming to the Port. All India Spices Exporters Forum, Cochin Customs House Agents Association, Cochin Steamer Agents association, Coimbatore Customs House and Steamer Agents Association, Federation of Indian Cashew Industry and Seafood Exporters Association of India are among the signatories of the joint statement.
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