Chittagong seaport is the economic life-line of Bangladesh. But, unfortunately, the port so far could not play its due role in facilitating country's export and import business satisfactorily. We all know that the port lacks adequate physical facilities like infrastructure, logistics and the latest technology for efficiently handling of containers. These problems are persisting for decades. The serious problem is corruption. An importer or exporter has to pay speed money at every point of the port to maintain the time of exporting an item or releasing one. Recently, we have seen the exporters at a meeting with the new shipping minister raising the issue.
The port authorities must solve the technical problems for the sake of turning the port into a commercial hub of the entire region. But who will solve the problem of corruption? The exporters of Bangladesh are not only losing their overseas market, the cost of handling cargoes at the port is also soaring rapidly. Chittagong port is known as one of the costliest in the region.
The problems must be solved to run the economy efficiently. If needed, the, port should be privatised. The so-called sovereignty issue raised by the incumbent Chittagong mayor and the port union leaders is nothing, but to keep the port under their control for corruption.
Niketon, Guylshan, Dhaka