Pakistan to start int’l ferry service

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Staff Reporter

Islamabad—Minister for Ports and Shipping Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo chaired a high level meeting to finalize the licensing requirements for starting domestic and international ferry service Pakistan on direction of the Prime Minister. The meeting was attended by representatives from ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Interior and Narcotics Control, Federal Board of Revenue and Anti Narcotics Force said here on Tuesday.
The Secretary Ports and Shipping Division explained the background of the proposal and a detailed briefing was given to participants on the licensing requirements of the ferry service. The minister highlighted that the private sector will be the main agent and beneficiary of the service which is intended for tourists, overseas workers and businessmen. The ministry has kept the licensing requirements very simple to draw interest and attract private sector in the new sector.
The government will be regulator and facilitator of the service. The ferry operator who will register ferry under Pakistani flag shall be exempted upto 2030 from payment of port charges and annual fee. The ferry operator under ‘foreign flag’ will be granted 50% waiver on port charges upto 2030.
The meeting decided to constitute a committee of focal persons from Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Interior and Port & Shipping to examine the applications for grant of license and give recommendations to the DG(P&S) Wing for grant of license or otherwise. After threadbare analysis of the draft licensing requirements and detailed discussion the meeting approved the proposed licensing requirement drafted by Ministry of Ports & Shipping for grant of license for international and domestic ferry service with minor amendments.