|Thursday, 24 June 2004|
Call to divert rebate scheme for transshipment cargo
by Sudarshana Perera
Port Sector analysts are calling for the present rebate scheme applicable to domestic cargo "Domestic Laden Container Rebate Scheme" to be diverted to Transshipment cargo to attract more vessels to the Colombo Port.
The rebate scheme was introduced in 2003 by the former management for shipping lines that has Terminal Service Agreement (TSAs) with SLPA. South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) is also complying with the rebate scheme. The Terminal officials said that the rebate scheme should be introduced for transshipment cargo to increase the port volume since transshipment cargo constitutes 70 per cent of the harbour business. The agreement is expected to expire in December 2004.
They said that domestic cargo was wholly dependent on the status of the economy, and it was a non commercial approach, the rebate being limited only to the big players who sign with TSAs. "If there was direct investment and factories such as garments and other industries developed, there would be increased trade.
Providing incentives on the domestic laden tariff does not have any impact on the port volumes. There is no level playing field among other Lines operating via Colombo", they said. The rebate scheme is from 10% to 15%.
When the Daily News contacted the SLPA Chairman's office, he was not available for comment.
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