Customs agents poised to go on strike


LAHORE – The Lahore Customs Agents Association (LCCA) has announced its intention to go on strike against Pakistan Railway’s step to raise charges of six services including port surcharge, demurrage, crane handling, weigh bridge and gate entry fee. According to the association, Railways had increased charges by 20 percent, despite the fact that these charges were raised by approximately 30 percent four months ago.
The Association Chairman Amjad Chaudhry said that negotiations with Railway authorities, regarding a withdrawal of the previous decision, were underway and a meeting was due to finalise the issue. However, Railway authorities issued instructions to introduce a fresh increase in these service charges. He stated that customs agents had halted all work on Mughalpura Dry Port as a result of this circular.
He also indicated that these charges had not been increased on any other dry port of the country including the newly established Prem Nagar Dry Port and NLC Dry Port. Chaudhry said that his Association had decided to go on a strike from Thursday and planned to hold demonstrations, rallies and hunger strike. He said that over 5,000 people including 1,100 customs agents, transporters and labourers were earning a livelihood in Mughalpura Dry Port.
He feared that people would go to Karachi for clearance of their goods as charges had not been raised there.