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Posted at: Feb 14, 2018, 2:03 AM; last updated: Feb 14, 2018, 2:03 AM (IST)

Labour charges: Ray of hope for traders at ICP

Land Ports Authority fixes meet with CWC officials tomorrow
Labour charges: Ray of hope for traders at ICP
The Integrated Check Post gate at Attari in Amritsar.

GS Paul

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 13

The Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI), which has designated Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) as custodian of the Integrated Check Post at Attari, has come forward to resolve the standoff between traders and CWC over unreasonable labour charges for loading and unloading goods from automated hydraulic system fitted vehicles.

The Confederation of International Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CICI) had sought the intervention of LPAI on the issue.

LPAI member finance CV Prasad admitted that it was irrational on part of the CWC to ask labour charges for those goods that seldom require physical exercise. “Obviously, the traders’ demand is genuine. It is unjustifiable to levy manual labour charges on mechanical handling of cargo. We have fixed a meeting with the CWC officials on February 15 to remove the anomalies,” he added.

On January 16, the CWC had issued a circular ordering that manual labour charges at the rate of Rs 95 per metric tonne would be charged, irrespective of whether it was done manually or automatically.

Rajdeep Uppal, senior representative of the chamber, said due to anti-trade policies of the CWC, the business community was discouraged to import cargo and other material from ICP. Over 60 per cent of trade from Pakistan constitutes import of gypsum and other loose material which land here in hydraulically mechanised tippers.

“I hope the LPAI’s intervention may bring a positive outcome. We have been paying hefty manual labour charges on the insistence of CWC officials. Besides hefty parking fee, the importers are bound to engage labour through the contractor appointed by the CWC only,” he added.

The manual labour charges at ICP, Attari, too are the highest in the region. Generally, the loading and unloading charges vary between Rs 2 per bag to Rs 3 per bag. Here, CWC charges are Rs 9 per bag. The labour charge of soda ash was Rs 8 per bag, which has been hiked to Rs 16.95 per bag, an increase of 105 per cent, the traders say.

The ICP cargo port, launched in April 2012, handles large quantities of gypsum, cement, chemicals, salt, dry fruits and other items imported from Pakistan and other countries.

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