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Mongla port raises tariff by 10pc to make more profit

83698229The country’s second seaport Mongla has increased its tariff by 10 per cent which is aimed at raising its profit, officials said.

“We have raised user-tariff of the equipment, which are run on diesel and electricity, by an average of 10 per cent as operating cost has increased,” port chairman Habibur Rahman told the FE.

He said the port’s tariff has not been increased since 1986. Many of the port equipment are run on diesel and electricity, the prices of which have increased several times in the last 28 years raising the port’s operational cost.

“Given the situation, we have found no other options but to raise user-charges,” said Mr Rahman.

He, however, said despite the recent tariff hike at Mongla port, the users’ charges still remain below the tariff rate at Chittagong port.

“We have kept the tariff rate below that of Chittagong port to keep the Mongla port attractive to users. Users will not feel interested to use Mongla port if its tariff goes higher than Chittagong port’s,” he noted.

Mr Rahman said Chittagong port is going to raise tariff soon. “Mongla and Chittagong ports’ tariffs will see further gap between them once Chittagong port makes its new rate effective.”

He said only the equipment’s user-fees at Mongla port had been increased. Tariffs against many other heads were yet to be raised, he added.

Sources said the ministry of shipping (MoS) at a recent meeting asked the Mongla port authorities to submit a fresh proposal upon cost-benefit analysis for raising tariff of the other areas. The authorities were asked to set the tariff rate keeping parity with that of Chittagong port.

Statistics shows that Mongla port made profit worth Tk 303.60 million in fiscal year (FY) 2012-13, against Tk 341.43 million in FY 2011-12, and Tk 218.30 million in FY 2010-11.

The port’s operating cost has increased by Tk 97.67 million in FY 2012-13 against the cost in FY 2011-12 due to fresh recruitment of a good number of manpower and providing incentive bonus. Besides, the operating cost also increased by Tk 26.57 million in FY 2012-13 because of price hike in power and energy, and procurement of new dredgers, and crane boats.

A senior shipping ministry official said cargo handling and ship arrivals at Mongla port have been increasing in the recent years. Steps have been taken to make the port more attractive and user-friendly so that its capacity does not remain unused.

He said dredging work in the harbour area and the outer bar of Mongla port was being carried out, so that vessels could ply without any hazard. Besides, steps have also been taken to raise the number of barges at the port and reduce the turnaround time, for which adequate numbers of staff have been appointed.

Report: Syful Islam

Source: Financial Express

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