The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) have asked the federal government to allow unloading of coal at Karachi Port Trust (KPT) because country’s only coal handling private terminal’s inefficiency caused inflation with depletion of precious foreign reserves and increasing cost of production for cement and power sectors. APCMA in its letter to Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, stated that despite the phenomenal potential shown by the industrial sector of Pakistan in exports, and notable contribution of the cement industry to the national exchequer, manufacturing industries are still suffering from the high cost of doing business and unjustified loss of hundreds of thousands of precious foreign reserves due to the monopoly and inefficient coal handling infrastructure of private coal terminal with a single berth for coal off-loading in Pakistan. The cement manufacturers added that the coal being an essential raw material for several industries including cement for its manufacturing and its high cost in the global market in addition to the already high vessel hire charter rate is at present a huge challenge for industries to overcome and a hindrance to actively contribute to the economic development of the country. “Currently, the single berth of only coal handling terminal with its limited capacity is unable to timely manage the discharge of coal vessels, which is not only causing congestion and delay of up to 20 days but unjustifiably increasing the cost of doing business for industries as they have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars as demurrage,” the letter reads. Vessel lineup and estimated demurrage are being paid by the industries due to the inefficiency and monopoly of the private and only coal terminal, is further adding pressure on industries and hindering the industrial momentum of the country. Considering the grave impact of this issue, APCMA, being a leading tax contributor of the country, seeks your urgent support to curtail the damage being incurred by the industries due to the inefficiency of the private and only coal terminal. Accessibility of low-cost raw material and efficient logistics infrastructure for manufacturing industries is imperative for industrial growth, and this cannot be achieved if the necessary action is not taken to upgrade the current inefficient imported coal handling mechanism and infrastructure in Pakistan and by allowing coal discharge and direct delivery at KPT. “Your support here as a key authority to resolve this issue is critical for the survival of industries. By your intervention through the availability of multiple berths for coal handling and by ensuring accessibility at KPT for coal handling (subject to cabinet’s approval) after taking required environment precautions and fulfilling regulations, will not only provide relief to industries but will also control inflation in the country,” APCMA added.