Clearing, forwarding charges in urea import: new TCP bidding process likely to save over Rs two million

September 13, 2013


urea import
urea import

The competitive bidding process, initiated by newly appointed chairman, Rizwan Ahmad, Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), would save some Rs 2 million on account of clearing and forwarding charges in urea import. Sources said on Thursday that as per previous practice clearing and forwarding services for the import of urea used to be given on a fixed rate of Rs 14.50 per ton to the pre-qualified clearing and forwarding agents.

Rizwan Ahmed has initiated to discourage this practice and instructed for competitive bidding for the appointment of clearing and forwarding agents for every shipment. Accordingly, TCP issued several tender notices for the appointment of clearing and forwarding agents for urea vessels.

First tender was opened on September 2, 2013 and some four bids were received from pre-qualified clearing agents with rates ranging from Rs 8.25 per ton to Rs 35 per ton for handling of urea at Gwadar port. Lowest bid of Rs 8.25 was submitted by M/s Tawakkal Enterprises Karachi. As this met all the terms and conditions of the tender, the TCP management awarded the contract to M/s Tawakkal Enterprises. Interestingly, as per previous practice TCP was paying some Rs 14.50 per ton charges to the clearing and forwarding agents for the handling of imported consignments and no tenders were ever invited.

A day before urea shipments arrival, successful clearing agent M/s Tawakkal enterprises informed the TCP that it was unable to work at Gwadar port due to security threats and requested the Corporation for providing necessary security, which was refused by the management.

The sudden refusal of the winning bidder put the TCP in trouble as the first ship carrying 52,000 tons of urea was on way to Gwadar port and clearing agent clearly refused to handle the consignment. Therefore, the TCP decided to invite quotations from Balochistan based pre-qualified parties for the handling of imported urea as due to short period it was not possible to invite new bids and in the current security situation Balochistan based parties can handle the cargo in the best manner.

However, it was principally decided that the TCP will not pay more than lowest bid of Rs 8.25 per ton to any other clearing agent. In the quotation process Haji Rasool Buksh’s quotation was lowest and it was agreed to work on same rate. Accordingly TCP awarded the contract to them.

With this deal TCP will save Rs 6.25 per ton and cumulatively some Rs 2.3 million will be saved in the recent 0.37 million tons urea import on account of clearing and forwarding charges. Following the directives of the federal government, the corporation is importing some 300,000 tons of urea from international market, while TCP will also handle another quantity of 70,000 tons of urea, being imported by Japan for Pakistan. Courtesy Business Recorder

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