Dhaka, Apr 17 (UNB)- Speakers at a meeting urged the government to simplify export and import process through the Benapole land port.
They called for capacity enhancement, developing infrastructure and continuing 24 hours operation of the port for smoother export and import process at a meeting held recently at Benapole Custom House Office.
Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and Benapole Custom House jointly organised the meeting, according to a media statement released Wednesday.
An 11-member delegation from DCCI discussed existing problems of the port in terms of export and import. Benapole C&F Association and businessmen who use the port were also present.
DCCI Vice-President Imran Ahmed said that the bilateral trade between Bangladesh and India is now $9.4 billion. The port is mostly used for export and import activities between the neighbors. In 2017-18, Tk4872.72 crore was collected from the port as revenue.
He said that the port’s current capacity is 40,000 tonnes but it handles about 1.5 to 2 lakh metric tonnes of goods.
In order to expedite export and import processes, he suggested setting up adequate sheds for goods, simplification of product clearance, reducing hidden cost, solving problems of testing facility for food items.
He also urged for expansion of Jashore-Benapole highway to six-lane, high speed internet at the port, dedicated uninterrupted electricity supply and establishing science lab.
He said due to lack of shed, most of the goods are kept under open sky and as a result, their quality degrades. Moreover, due to delay in product clearance, businessmen have to count extra interest of bank loan.
Imran requested to establish adequate sheds and warehouses in Petrapole port in Indian part and keep the port open for 24 hours.
Commissioner of Benapole Custom House Mohammad Belal Hossain said that Benapole Custom House has already been using modern software recognised by the World Bank to ease export and import process.
“For simplified customs procedures, the port authority has started four-step working process. Besides, for easing product clearance, a special seal is being used which reduces product clearance time. The port will be fully automated,” he added.
Additional Commissioner of the Port Mohammad Zakir Hossain, DCCI Directors Alhaj Deen Mohammad, Mohammad Basiruddin, Former Senior Vice President Alhaj Abdus Salam, former Directors Md. Alauddin Malik, Major Yead Ali Fakir (retd.), Convener Engineer. Shamsuzzoha Chowdhury, Members Mohammed Monium Khan, Monwar Hossain, Md. Zamsher Ali also were present there.