Iqram Cuttilan reappointed as CASA Chairman at 54th AGM | Daily News


Iqram Cuttilan reappointed as CASA Chairman at 54th AGM

Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva Chief of Defense Staff and Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, Major General (Retd.) Kamal Guneratne Secretary of Defence, Mr. U.D.C. Jayalal Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping, Hon. Rohitha Abegunawardhane Minister of Ports and Shipping, General Daya Ratnayake Chairman Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Admiral (Prof.) Jayanath Colombage Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Major General (Retd.) Vijitha Ravipriya Director General of Customs and Mr. Iqram Cuttilan Chairman CASA   

CASA, the voice of the shipping industry held their Annual General Meeting on August 26, 2020 at the Shangri-La Hotel.

Whilst the Shipping industry has been facing numerous challenges during the past decade, 2020 has been an exceptionally tough year for the lines. The COVID 19 pandemic affected the whole world shutting down most countries and affecting cargo movement. Overall cargo movement saw a big dip between April and July. This affected cargo volumes carried by lines resulting in shipping lines having blank sailings, withdrawing certain services resulting in a large number of vessels idling. Cargo which was discharged at ports lay idle as consignees could not clear cargo due to the lock down in most countries. This caused congestion in most ports including Colombo. Lines were called upon to grant demurrage waivers etc. to consignees which further financially burdened the shipping lines, Iqram Cuttilan,Chairman of Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents(CASA) said.

This project had got stuck for a long period of time. “We thank the Director General of Customs and his team for the measures taken to implement this, he said. The Port of Colombo, with it’s close proximity to the main East West trade lane has benefited due to our geographic location. The port of Colombo recorded a throughput of 7.2 million TEUS is 2019. If we are to remain competitive and grow further we just cannot only rely on our geographic location. We need to build capacity. As the shipping industry, we are extremely concerned on the undue delay in operationalizing East Container Terminal. Despite 450 mtrs of quay length of East Terminal having been built, the terminal is not being made use for the purpose it was built. It is very unfortunate that this facility has been lying idle for 5 years due to the indecisiveness.”

The Indian Government is developing deep water ports which are going to be a threat to Colombo. The Port of Vizhinjam and the ambitious USD 1 billion project in Nicobar Islands will directly compete with Colombo. So, unless we continue adding deep draft capacity in Colombo, we are going to be the losers.

The fall out of this will be that the service strings which have Mega vessels will not call at Colombo which will result in stagnation of volume growth in Colombo as well as our importers and exporters not being able to secure space for their cargoes as well as enjoy the competitive freight rates,” he added. Rohitha Abegunawardhane, Minister of Ports & Shipping graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.


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