Questions are being raised whether foreign exchange will illegally flow out of the country due to the possible re-introduction of zero freight and surcharges levied on non-contractual parties, as there is no coverage of the same under Sri Lankan laws, domestic media outlets reported.
The Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council is unhappy over the repeal of an earlier regulation that helped importers and exporters from anti-competitive practices by service providers. The decision will make imports and exports more expensive due to unethical surcharging, and make products uncompetitive, resulting in loss of global market share, it claims.
The ministry of ports and shipping, through this decision, has removed the protection of free market competition and eliminated sound global practices where price-fixing is not permitted, SLSC said.
The frequent changes made to shipping regulations in Sri Lanka recently have also raised a concern among foreign trading partners, which are sensitive to policy inconsistencies.
Expensive imports will lead to higher inflation and cost of living, when the country is facing an economic crisis, the council felt.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)