27 traders to benefit from court order on duty hike - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Friday, August 30, 2019

27 traders to benefit from court order on duty hike


27 traders to benefit from court order on duty hike

GS Paul

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 29

The importers heaved a sigh of relief after the High Court ordered to release the withheld goods at Attari Integrated Check Post cargo by charging normal duty from them.

However, the traders would have to bear the demurrage charges (penalty for exceeding free time) since February 16 — the day 200 per cent duty-hike notification for Pakistan-imported goods was issued as fallout of the Pulwama attack.

Anil Mehra, president of All India Dry Dates Association, said the HC had issued directions to clear the consignments at normal import charges that had arrived prior to the issuance of notification.

Mehra said the HC had questioned the authorities of customs and LPA (Land Port Authority of India) about the duty hours (9am-5 pm). However, the notification was uploaded only at 8.45 pm.

“The HC has ordered to clear the goods within seven days. As many as 27 traders who had imported goods from Pakistan would be benefitted by paying previous rates. How the notification, which was received past 8 pm, could be applied to goods that arrived in the afternoon and till 5 pm? We had challenged it in the HC, which pronounced the decision in our favour,” he said.

Mehra said the demurrage charges too should be abolished. “The situation arose unexpectedly and goods remained in cargo with no fault of traders,” he said.

The trade between two neighbouring nations has come to naught at the Attari-Wagah border after the exorbitant duty hike notification was issued. At least 90,000 bags of cement, 6,000 bags of dry dates, 500 metric tonnes of limestone, gypsum and inorganic chemicals and drugs in bulk were still lying in the ICP Attari cargo for want of customs’ clearance.

The traders had resented that 200 per cent duty on import has witnessed an escalation of Rs10 crore, resulting in making these goods redundant. A bag of Pakistani cement that normally costs between Rs250-Rs300 had invited an import duty of Rs800 each. Similarly, the duty on a truckload of dry date, which was Rs2.22 lakh earlier, was hiked to Rs32 lakh, including the GST.

Consignments of dry dates worth Rs40.70 lakh imported by Sri Amarnath Traders, Indore, were stranded at Attari cargo. Similarly, Bhawesh Trading Co, Mumbai, had ordered dry dates worth Rs34.84 lakh; Soojal International, Delhi, worth Rs20.27; Neha Enterprise, Mumbai, worth Rs24 lakh and International Traders, Amritsar, worth Rs10.27 lakh.

Vikrant Cement Traders’ cement worth Rs61.20 lakh; BM Batra Enterprise (Rs20.40 lakh); Ganpati International (Rs44.20 lakh); Shree Chaitanaya Overseas (Rs10.20 lakh); Fibre Shakti Cement (Rs10.20 lakh); Jeet Traders (Rs20.40 lakh) and Anish (Rs20.40 lakh).

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