Traders jeopardise Pakistan’s reputation as credible exporter | Pakistan Today

Traders jeopardise Pakistan’s reputation as credible exporter

KARACHI – Pakistan’s reputation as an exporter in the global market is likely to deteriorate, with the private sector seemingly taking a page out the book of state owned enterprises (SOE) like TCP on how it deals with international traders. Private sector exporters, which have recently received a green signal from Islamabad to export excess wheat on provincial level, are endangering the country’s reputation exporting the commodity in almost ‘unstitched’ sacks.
According to sources, the loading of thousands of tonnes of exportable wheat on M/v Banglar Kallol is crawling at snail’s pace at Karachi Port for several days because of, what source claims is, ‘poorly’ bagged cargo. “The bags have been stitched manually and thousands of these were, therefore, torn while being handled at port,” sources told Pakistan Today.
They claim that thousands of 50-kilogram wheat bags are lying on the berth and Karachi Port Trust (KPT) sheds after being rejected by the ship crew and consignee surveyors citing poor stitching. “Any bag that falls to the floor spills out its content and so far hundreds of bags have torn and been rejected,” the sources stressed. As a result, stevedores are said to have employed 20 cleaning men to reclaim and then re-stitch the spilled wheat from the dock at Rs 450 per head.
If calculated on the basis of shift and accumulatively, the additional labour is likely to cause exporters considerable losses. However it is feared that the irreparable harm has been done to the country’s reputation amongst importing countries like Bangladesh. Sources assert that the ship crew, which is responsible for delivering the cargo in ‘safe and sound’ condition to the consignee, had consistently protested the poor quality of the sacks and refusing to load the ‘unsound’ cargo.
“The work is dragging on in irregular intervals and it is likely that the work will take at least four to five more days to be completed,” sources disclosed, adding that crew had also apparently refused to load cargo from Pakistan where, they now believe, no one cares for the national or even personal interest. Sailors have been quoted as saying that, “importers do not accept unsound cargo like this and fine shippers heavily”.
Sources went on to say that the ship crew were frustrated as their advice went unheeded and suspended work on the ship on January 20, 2011. In turn this forced the stevedores to relieve dockers at 1:00 am, some three hours before the scheduled time.
According to KPT sources, M/v Banglar Kallol docked at Berth Number 21 of Karachi Port some 17 days ago on January 8 and has still not been able to load its allotted 10,224 tonnes of wheat. KPT figures indicate that so far only 1,776 tonnes of exportable wheat has been loaded on the vessel.
The sources told Pakistan Today that the ship initially discharged some 6,070 tonnes of jute and then started taking wheat onboard but despite the passage of over two weeks the vessel is still yet to be fully loaded. Perhaps for this reason the KPT has not assigned a sailing date for the vessel in its shipping program that reads ‘N/S’ (not specified).

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