BICDA Charge increased in Chittagong Port creates dissatisfaction to the Port users (stakeholders). They have expressed dissatisfaction over the announcement of 23 per cent increase in charges in five service sectors of Bangladesh Private Inland Container Depot Association (BICDA), an organization of 19 private ICDs involved in offshore trade in Chittagong. Traders say that by announcing the increase in this charge alone without discussion, Bikda has violated the guidelines of Private ICD Regulation 2018. According to Bikdar, the increase in oil prices has led to a 23 per cent increase in fares / charges in many sectors. In this case, private ICD offdock can be no exception.
Port users say BICDA has increased its charges by 23 per cent in the five service sectors, many of which have no use for diesel. Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association (BSAA) and Bikda have also sent official letters to each other in response to this issue. Relevant sources said that there was no solution to the dispute over the increase in charges. On the other hand, many of the handling equipment of Chittagong Port Authority are diesel powered but no charge has been increased there, the traders said.
BSAA chairman Syed Mohammad Arif told Ittefaq, “We have written to BKDA requesting withdrawal of additional charges.” The Bicder Circular said the increased charges would take effect from November 4. The circular issued by Bickder on November 8 has provoked strong reactions from MLOs (mainline operators) and agents. MLOs have faced serious problems and questions from their principals.
Principals say the increase in charges must be in accordance with Section 11.1 and Section 11.2 of the Private ICD Regulation 2016 enacted by the Port Authority. Section 11.1 states that the tariff shall be determined by the Tariff Committee constituted by the Ministry of Shipping. Which will be effective after being approved by the Ministry. Section 11.2 states that the Ministry of Shipping will form a committee to determine all the charges (tariffs) of ICD / CFS. The committee should include representatives of National Board of Revenue, Port Authority and ICD / CFS as well as government and private ICD / CFS users. The BSAA chairman said that this section of the ICD regulation of the port has been violated and bypassed in the Becker Circular. Every MLO agent agrees to increase the tariff after a certain period of time. But neither side has the opportunity to review the service charge during the contract period except for bilateral talks. So even if the BSA did not disagree with the tariff hike on the issue of fuel price hike, the issue could have been discussed and misunderstandings could have been avoided.
Meanwhile, BKDA chairman Nurul Qayyum Khan said the government has increased the price of diesel by Tk 15 per liter and now diesel has to be bought at Tk 80 per liter instead of Tk 75. As soon as the issue came into effect on November 4, commercial truck and trailer operators have increased the fares for export-import goods from Chittagong port from 30 per cent to 35 per cent. Private transport launch-buses have also increased their fares from 26 per cent to 30 per cent. The service sector associated with diesel has adjusted their fares / charges. In most cases the fare / charge increase and adjustment is 23 percent. In the Corona North, where no sector is subsidizing its existence from its own funds, private ICD and offdock are no exception.
He said that in the fiscal year 2021, 18 lakh 96 thousand 85 TEUs (Twenty Equivalent Units) containers have been handled here. As a result, the cost of trucking imports and exports will increase by about Tk 950 crore in the next one year, which is equivalent to 111.6 million US dollars. This is due to the recent rise in diesel prices.