To bring order in the domestic shipping sector, the Department of Shipping and Commerce has taken the initiative to operate lighter ships in the same series and implement 20 new decisions from Monday. The serial was allocated separately by two organizations, the Shipowners’ Consortium (WTC) and the Inland Vessel Owners Association of Chittagong (IVOAC), in a month-long organizational dispute. With this decision taken by the Department of Shipping and Commerce, tension has already started between the concerned organizations.
A month ago, the alliance of lighter ship owners left the WTC and started allocating ships separately due to the dispute over the transportation of goods by sea. It creates complications in the transportation of goods.
Department of Shipping and Commerce formed a special committee to deal with the situation. The committee, after meeting with all parties, announced the ship allocation in a coordinated manner, effective from Monday. The Committee added 8 new sections and 12 sub-sections to the Transport of Goods Rules. However, the two organizations are in conflicting positions with this new system.
Spokesperson of Ivoak Parvez Ahmed said, if suddenly instructions are given to take the ship with 100% money, then it will be a little difficult. In this case, the importers will try to source the third party at a lower price in cash instead of giving them work.
On the other hand, WTC executive member Sheikh Md. Jahangir Alam blames a few members of Ivoak for this chaos in the boat.
The Department of Shipping and Commerce said that from now on, 60% of the rent will have to be paid to the ship owner as soon as the goods are picked up in the lighter. The remaining amount should be paid at the time of redemption. At the same time, an initiative will be taken to repay the old debt in less time. Action will be taken if rules are not followed.
In this context, Captain Sabbir Ahmed, chief officer of the Department of Shipping and Commerce, said, “All the activities of the Shipping Serial Committee and the Discipline and Monitoring Committee related to the transportation of goods by inland waterways will be carried out in accordance with fairness, justice and commercial maritime law.” We are working according to what is in the law, internationally and domestically, which is fair.’
About 18 hundred lighter ships transport at least 10 million tons of goods annually from Chittagong Port’s outer anchorage.