Centre's export ban affects Kakinada port

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Kakinada, Jul 17 (UNI) The Kakinada anchorage port, which had handled a record quantity of four million MTs of cargo last year, is now in dire straits with lesser number of ships calling on the port due to non-availability of cargo following the ban imposed on rice and maize exports for the past two weeks.

The situation was so grave during the past one week that hardly three ships loaded rice to Bangladesh, under the ''food aid programme.'' ''We never faced such a situation in the recent past. All of us are in a fix due to the government's overnight decision imposing a blanket ban on maize exports. We had sent a representation to the Centre, requesting the revival of maize exports and are eagerly awaiting a positive response,'' Arun Chapekar, a leading exporter said.

''The fertiliser imports, which are the major source of revenue for the anchorage port, are now getting diverted under a special GO, making all of us crippled,'' Steel Barge Owners Association President B Ramamurthy and Cargo Boat Workers Union President Vanamadi Veerababu said.

''We are planning to take up agitational programmes to pressurise the government to fulfil our demands,'' they added.

UNI XC VA SKB HT1924

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