Bangladesh port cuts handling charges

Bangladesh port cuts handling charges

The Port of Chittagong in Bangladesh reduced charges for outgoing cargo handling in containers Tuesday as part of a government initiative to boost the country's exports, particularly apparel.

The reduced charges on cargo such as apparel and textiles will be in force for six months, and will bring down Chittagong's revenues by 30 million takas ($517,000). The port, however, has agreed to take the revenue hit in the larger interest of the country's trade, one official said.

River dues on three categories of bulk and container cargoes will be reduced by 25 percent; stuffing charges on two cargo items will come down by 20 percent; shipping charges on one item by 10 percent, and lift-on and lift-off charges on two types of container cargo by 10 percent.

Bangladesh's export earnings in the first 11 months of fiscal 2003 ended May 31 rose 8.6 percent to $5.8 billion. Major export goods like knitwear, frozen food, jute goods, raw jute, petroleum products, electronics, chemical products, bicycles, engineering goods and other primary products recorded growth during the period.

- N. Vasuki Rao