COVID-19: Govt asks major ports to defer rentals, waive charges, penalty in view of EXIM cargo drop

NEW DELHI: Noting a drop in export-import (EXIM) cargo due to supply chain disruptions on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has asked India’s all 12 major ports to defer the lease rentals and licence fees-related charges for April, May and June.

They have been asked to waive rentals in proportion to the cargo drop and not to levy penalties.

In a letter, the shipping ministry has asked the ports to provide relief in the form of exemptions/ remission of charges to the shipping liners, exporters, importers, logistics providers and other stakeholders hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

The relief measures are aimed at boosting EXIM cargo by supporting and rebuilding the logistics chain.

“The logistics chain-related businesses including traders, importers, exporters, port operators, shipping lines and transporters are facing a huge challenge in maintaining their businesses due to a lower trade volume as well as cash flow issues. Therefore, it is required that some relief measures are taken to support and

rebuild the logistics chain,” the Ministry of Shipping said in directives to chairpersons and chairman & managing directors of all the major ports.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures in several countries, the logistics chain has been severely disrupted and the associated production and consumption centre has been affected, it said.

It added that the logistics chains are going through an unusual and massive shock from disruptions on the supply side as well as the demand side.

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