The ministry of shipping (MoS) asked on Wednesday privately-owned inland container depots (ICDs) not to charge any additional tariff until the next meeting that is expected to provide a solution to a row over the issue.
The ministry directive came as a meeting on this issue with shipping secretary Abdus Samad in the chair ended on the day inconclusive.
The meeting decided that the ICDs would stop realising the increased tariff until an amicable solution to the rate hike row could be reached.
In the wake of a decision taken by the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) earlier, the private ICD owners had been charging tariff raised by 10 per cent since the first day of this month.
The ICDs handle the majority of export containers and 37 types of import goods containers.
However, businesses denounced the decision of tariff hike and sought the shipping ministry's intervention.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Rubana Huq in a recent letter to the shipping ministry said CPA Chairman Zulfiqur Aziz had given a decision in favour of raising the tariff by 10 per cent amid strong opposition from stakeholders.
She suggested that the ICDs hike tariff by 3.0 per cent and that should be effective from November.
Shipping secretary Abdus Samad told the FE that the business cost of the ICDs would be examined in the next meeting and a suitable tariff hike would be suggested.
Until then the ICDs would not charge the additional tariff rate, he said.
Bangladesh Inland Container Depots Association (BICDA) general secretary Ruhul Amin (Biplob) told the FE the ICDs would continue to charge the increased rate until the executive committee took a fresh decision.
He demanded that an internationally-reputed company be engaged in examining and fixing the new tariff rate, taking into consideration the size of investment made by the ICDs and the increased expense since the tariff hike the last time.