Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs, directed Karachi Port Trust to further improve its trade facilitation policy and explore new avenues of transit trade with landlocked countries for maximization of port’s business.
The committee met here with its chairperson Senator Rubina Khalid in chair while Senators Nuzhat Sadiq, Moula Bux Chandio, Dost Muhammad Khan and Danesh Kumar, and Chairman Karachi Port Trust Muhammad Tariq Huda and officers of ministry of Maritime Affairs and KPT were in attendance.
The committee stressed on measures to promote transit trade particularly with Central Asian States and said that enhanced coordination with other countries will assist expansion of port’s business.
Moreover, a stringent policy must be framed as well to discourage smuggling or illegal trade practices in cover of Afghan Transit Trade, the committee members urged.
Chairperson of the committee appreciated future plans for a dedicated railway freight corridor from KPT to Pipri area to lessen the burden on road and said that it would not only fast track the container clearance operations at the port but also help easing the burden of heavy traffic on roads of the metropolis which results into traffic congestion and damages to roads.
The committee asked chairman KPT to submit comprehensive proposals for further processing of the future plans of the port so that its functioning could be streamlined and necessary amendments could be made in the rules of business of the KPT.
Port pollution was another serious issue that should be dealt with efficiently on priority basis and industrial units disposing off their sewerage into sea must be bound for installation of effluent or treatment plants, the senate committee maintained.
Senator Moula Bux Chandio noted that Karachi’s coastline lacked greenery and clean environment and said that all the stakeholders should work together to make the beaches of Karachi cleaner and greener.
Committee members suggested giving representation to FPCCI in board of trustees to ensure wider participation of business community from all around the country. Senator Danesh Kumar suggested that Rice Association of Pakistan should also be given representation in the BoT as rice has become one of the top export commodities of the country.
Chairman KPT briefed the committee that trade cargo was mostly handled at KPT as it facilitate almost 50 percent of the trade cargo while 25 % of the total tax revenue- Rs.1.5 trillion out of total tax revenue of Rs.6 trillion- was contributed through KPT. —APP