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Shipping.

Foreign shipping companies should not be allowed to establish their agency houses in Pakistan. Pakistan should also utilise locally available expertise to avoid undue dependence on foreign consultants.

A clear, unambiguous and integrated port and shipping policy for a longer period (atleast 25 years) was demanded at the conclusion of the two-day seminar.

Reading out the recommendations at the closing session of the seminar on "Port and Shipping in the changing economic environment", jointly organised by the Federation of Pakistan chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and Master Mariners Society of Pakistan (MMSP), Captain Haleem A. Siddiqui, President, MMSP urged the government to involve all relevant experts including shipowner, agent, stevedore, port operator, importer, exporter, forwarder, etc. before finalising port and shipping policy.

The seminar urged the government to establish a separate ministry for port and shipping for the implementation of properly devised and approved policy for maritime sector.

He said all port activities, excluding conservancy and development of infrastructure, should be privatised and private sector should have full control of the management, quality services and scale of charges.

He said the seminar has also suggested the privatisation of Port Qasim, Pakistan National Shipping Corporation and National Tanker Company.

Bonded services be allowed to carry transit cargoes through Pakistan to Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia. Besides, necessary bilateral transit agreement be signed with these countries on the pattern of T.I.R. convention to facilitate such movements.

Foreign shipping companies should not be allowed to establish their agency houses in Pakistan. Pakistan should also utilise locally available expertise to avoid undue dependence on foreign consultants.

The seminar also expressed concern over the increasing pollution within the docks and coastal waters and suggested pollution control measures.

The seminar also recommended a 10-year tax holiday for ship owning. It was also suggested to exempt the earnings on foreign exchange and shipowners should not be required to disclose the source of foreign investment.

To encourage new shipowners, a simplified procedure for ship registration should be introduced. An Advisory Cell should be formed for port and shipping sector consisting of three members, all from private sector, the seminar suggested.

To improve the quality of seafaring manpower and to enhance the foreign employment prospect, formal training facilities and programmes be developed for all categories, including engineering and executive officers. It was also demanded to improve general and technical education for workers involved in port and equipment operations.

It was strongly recommended to update the obsolete Merchant Shipping Act of 1884 and KPT Act at the earliest. The Control of Shipping Act should also be amended to permit the use of ships as collateral and pledging to Pakistani or a stock financial house for financing purposes.

The seminar suggested to abolish Karachi Dock Labour Board which has outlived its utility.

A direct container train service between the port and upcountry and dry-ports destinations should be allowed either by shipping companies or other operators to improve and speed up cargo movement in and out of the port. They should also be allowed to run bonded transport services between these destinations.
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Title Annotation:Pakistani shipping industry
Author:Sheikh, Khushnood Ali
Publication:Economic Review
Date:Feb 1, 1993
Words:513
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