No Rules

Sept 28, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lankan shippers complain of government inaction in bringing anti-price fixing rules for shipping while India is moving against shipping lines accused of acting like cartels. The Shippers’ Council said they have now been forced to take court action to prod the government into action.

“India is taking steps to look after the interests of its exporters by introducing regulations against shipping cartels while our authorities are not doing enough to defend our interests,” said former Shippers’ Council chairman Rohan Masakorala.

He said recent Indian moves against shipping alliances showed the lines had been unfairly resorting to fixing freight charges.

Noel Priyatilleke, chairman of the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association and former vice chairman of the Shippers’ Council said the liberalization of shipping had not been followed by the regulations required to government competition.

India’s Competition Commission last week moved against an alliance of shipping lines which control most of the cargo shipped from south Asia, including Sri Lanka, to Europe but which shippers have accused of acting like a cartel.

The India-Pakistan-Bangladesh-Ceylon Conf