The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has decided to fix carton receiving charges or labour charges in the Chittagong port at Tk 1.60 per carton instead of Tk 3.0 as it found sudden hike of the charges realised by private operators unjust.
Chittagong Customs House (CCH) took the decision in a meeting Sunday.
"The private inland container depot increased labour changes in the port from Tk 1.60 to Tk 3.0 last week," CCH commissioner Masud Sadik told the FE Monday.
"We found the increase unjust as they are charging even for light-weighted bags as containers," he added.
The CCH has instructed to keep the charge at Tk 1.60 unchanged, he said.
In 2001, Private Inland container Depot set Tk 2.0 as carton receiving charge which was reduced to Tk 1.60 in 2008.
Secretary, Internal Resources Division (IRD) and NBR chairman Ghulam Hussain, chaired the meeting that is also attended by shipping secretary, chamber leaders of the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), representatives of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers Exporters Association (BKMEA), and Clearing and Forwarding Agents.
In the meeting garments and knitwear exporters and manufacturers strongly criticized the sudden hike in labour charges by the private depots, according to the minutes of the meeting.
NBR chairman, in the meeting, said it is not logical to impose same charges for handling containers irrespective of weight, size and types of carton.
"They should fix the charges after discussing with the stakeholders. There should be a specific definition of standard container," he said in the meeting.
The CCH decided to form a high-powered committee comprising stakeholders, customs and port authority. The committee will submit a report on labour chargers and other issues within next 10 working days.
The CCH and Chittagong port authority will prepare a policy on fixation of charge or fees against different services in the port.