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GOVT MUST UPGRADE, MODERNIZE AND FACILITATE TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS SECTOR TO REAP FRUIT OF THE GWADAR PORT - Interview with Mr Javed Rashid Asghar Arian - President, Pak China Club Pakistan and former General Secretary, Karachi Goods Carriers Association.

Byline: KHALIL AHMED

PAGE: TELL ME SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR CAREER, PLEASE:

JAVED RASHID ASGHAR ARIAN: I was born on 25th December 1958 in a village Chak No: 333/E.B, 10 km away from Burewala, District in Vihari, a city of Punjab, Pakistan. I got education upto 8th class from a nearby village Chak No: 331/E.B, Topianwala. After 8th class, I was admitted in a hostel of M. C. High School, Burewala, where I completed my secondary school education and was considered a good speaker of the school. After schooling, I joined Government Degree College, Burewala, in Pre-Medical Group. In college life, I also enjoyed there hostel life for four years and was considered a best debater and active student leader.

It was the regime of General Zia-ul-Haque when my parents shifted me to Karachi where uncle of my father had an established transport business. I joined him in March 1980. In three years, I became working partner of the firm. In 1989, I separated from the partnership and established a new goods transport company with the name of Arian Cargo Transport Agency and became member of Karachi Goods Carrier Association (KGCA) in 1990. Today Arian Cargo is providing transportation services from Karachi to all over Pakistan.

In 1991, I was elected as a member executive committee of KGCA and in 1993 was elected as a Joint Secretary of KGCA and in 2004, I was elected General Secretary of KGCA. I represented Pakistan transport sector in National Trade of Transport Facilitation Committee from 2004 to 2013 (10 years). In 2014, FPCCI nominated me as a Vice Chairman of Standing Committee for Logistics Services and I proved myself as an active and sincere business leader.

I am also working as a President of Pak China Club Pakistan since 2007. I wish to see my country, Pakistan as a progressive economic tiger in Asia and in the world. I am trying my best to modernize transport sector in Pakistan. My father was also a teacher and I am proud of him.

PAGE: YOUR VIEWS ON LOGISTIC SERVICES IN PAKISTAN:

JAVED RASHID ASGHAR ARIAN: Logistic services have a bright future in Pakistan. Especially Government of Pakistan should come forward to facilitate this sector by offering financial facilities and tax exemptions to improve this sector, which already has approximate 15% of GDP share.

Keeping in view CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor), role of logistic services has become more and more important. So Government of Pakistan must recognize this sector as a back bone of the economy since Pakistan private transport sector is transporting nearly 92% of import and export cargo while Pakistan Railways and National Logistics Cell (NLC) with all facilities share only 8% of the total cargo.

It is strange to know that in Pakistan, goods transport sector is working according to the British Law of 1865 A.D. We from the platform of National Trade and Transport Facilitation. Committee (NTTFC) prepared Carriage of Goods by Road Bill, but it is pending for approval in National Assembly since 2010. Further, goods transport sector has not been declared as industry so far. Government of Pakistan must declare it industry without any delay and facilitate it as per industry rules. Government should also pass Carriage of Goods by Road Bill immediately from National Assembly of Pakistan.

PAGE: YOUR TAKE ON NUMBER OF CARRIERS AND THE DESTINATIONS BEING COVERED BY THE PAKISTANI GOODS SERVICES COMPANIES IN PAKISTAN:

JAVED RASHID ASGHAR ARIAN: At present Pakistan private goods transport sector has approximately 450,000 small and big trucks and trailers, which transport 92% of export, import and local cargo by overloading the cargo because if we go on international standard of weight, then this quantity of vehicles is <our required quantity.

Pakistan private goods transport sector covers whole country for transportation of local and import, export cargo as well as a big share in transportation of Afghan Cargo.

PAGE: YOUR VIEWS ON COMPETITION IN THE LOGISTICS SECTOR:

JAVED RASHID ASGHAR ARIAN: Due to lack of vehicles, there is a hard competition in the logistic and transport sector. Few heavy vehicle manufacturing plants have monopoly on providing prime movers. Prices of prime movers are also too much high causing heavy investment on purchase of vehicles. In view of CPEC, the need of heavy vehicles will increase manifold. At this stage, Government of Pakistan should come forward with a visionary auto policy.

Government should invite worldwide automobile heavy manufacturing companies in Pakistan with maximum facilities and tax free offers. It will reduce prices of heavy vehicles by approximately 40%. By declaring this sector as an industry, this sector will boost up and import as well as export expenses will reduce resulting taking Pakistan on a competition stage with global world.

Government of Pakistan should also educate this sector by arranging workshops of international standard transport sector. Government should also work to modernize the transport sector of Pakistan by facilitating driving centers, vehicles parking parks, Modern repairing workshops and full security on roads.

PAGE: YOUR TAKE ON DIFFICULTIES BEING FACED BY GOODS SERVICES PROVIDERS:

JAVED RASHID ASGHAR ARIAN: Pakistan goods transport sector has been facing many difficulties for which very few of it includes:

1- Cargo loaded vehicles are kidnapped on their way and drivers and helpers are thrown in critical condition away from any approachable area and often drivers are killed.

2- Police is very in-cooperative. In case of any kidnapping incident or any accident, registration of FIR is very difficult. In spite of heavy loss of cargo, money or human being, it is not possible to get the FIR registered without giving handsome money to the officer of the concerned police station.

3- Police of police stations and traffic police are usually observed collecting money from drivers of vehicles.

4- Although government receives heavy amount in the shape of taxes and toll plaza charges from goods transport service providers, no one accepts responsibility to facilitate them on the way. For example, if there is any accident on the highway or motorways, there is not any arrangement such as crane, lifter or first aid unit.

5- Vehicles and drivers are kidnapped in the broad daylight on highways and motorways. If any driver violates speed or other driving law, motorway police reaches at once and charges heavy penalty but unable to resist any kidnapping or robbery incident. There are also many other difficulties being faced by the goods transport service providers government should make traveling safe and sound for the nation.

PAGE: YOUR VIEWS ON GWADAR PORT:

JAVED RASHID ASGHAR ARIAN: Gwadar port is surely a game changer for the whole the region. Approximately 3 billion people of the region will be the beneficiary of the CPEC project. Gwadar is a natural deep sea port with a depth of 17.4 meter to 18.2 meter. It has a space of 120 berths enabling it the biggest and effective sea port where big mother vessels can easily berth.

By completion of Gwadar port not only Pakistan and China but Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, Central Asian countries and Gulf countries will also be the beneficiaries of this project.

Approximately 400 million metric tons cargo per year will be handled at Gwadar port and thousands of new jobs will be created by this project. Not only industrial and commercial sector will boost up but logistic and goods transport sector will also reach at its peak.

After the completion and fully operating Gwadar port, approximate one million trucks and trailers will be needed, which will give jobs to millions of people in the region. But unfortunately Government of Pakistan has not planned properly to reap fruits of it.

Government should establish technical institutes in a wide range regarding the requirements of the project according to the international standard and requirements. Government should also plan seriously to upgrade, modernize and facilitate private goods transport sector.

Government should invite worldwide heavy vehicles manufacturing companies with maximum facilities to reduce prices of the vehicles so that this sector could compete the international transport sector. Otherwise we will be observed as a climber on the project and the beneficiaries will be other multinational companies as well as other countries because after agreement of border cross transportation, transport and logistics sector of other countries will climb up in Pakistan and reap fruit of the Gwadar port.
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Publication:Pakistan & Gulf Economist
Date:Dec 4, 2016
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