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Thursday July 18, 2024

PM directs upgrade of Karachi port

Premier Shehbaz Sharif also directs to enhance goods' supply via linking port to rail and road networks

By News Desk, Agencies
July 08, 2024
PM Shehbaz Sharif chairs the meeting regarding Karachi Port Trust, Port Qasim Authority and Pakistan National Shipping Corporation in Karachi on July 7, 2024. — PID
PM Shehbaz Sharif chairs the meeting regarding Karachi Port Trust, Port Qasim Authority and Pakistan National Shipping Corporation in Karachi on July 7, 2024. — PID

KARACHI: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday said Pakistan could earn foreign exchange of billions of dollars by ensuring a modern system and better accessibility at its ports.

He said that he held meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and leaders of the Central Asian countries during his recent visit to Kazakhstan.

Pakistan, he said, offered the most suitable sea trade route for the Central Asian states.

The Central Asian states have expressed deep interest in using Pakistan’s ports for trade, the prime minister said adding Pakistan could earn foreign exchange reserves of billions of dollars by introducing modern systems at ports.

He directed to take comprehensive measures for the upgradation of Karachi Port and ease of access to the harbour via rail and road connectivity.

During his one-day visit to Karachi on Sunday, the premier issued the directives while chairing a session in which he was briefed on the Karachi Port Trust (KPT), Port Qasim and Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC). The high-level session was attended by federal ministers Muhammad Aurangzeb, Jam Kamal Khan, Ahad Khan Cheema, Attaullah Tarar, Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman and others.

PM Shehbaz said that steps should be taken to reduce Customs clearance time by installation of modern machinery. He also emphasized on connectivity of the KPT via road and rail network for the ease of access for goods.

He also directed that the Lyari Expressway should be kept open 24/7 to ensure unhindered supply of goods to KPT, as well as linking the port to Malir Expressway to improve the delivery of goods. He ordered to enhance the goods supply by linking the port to a rail network.

PM Shehbaz ordered the Port Qasim Authority to reduce charges for LNG cargo vessels and bring them in line with the international rates. He sought a comprehensive strategy for the regulation of shipping lines besides ordering the PNSC to cut its expenditures.

“Development of private sector, ease in doing business and facilitation of investors are our top priorities,” the premier said, adding that the national economy was stable and was on the path of growth and development. He added that the “federal government is providing maximum facilities” to exporters for the development of country’s export sector.

At the same time, the premier asked the authorities to present a report to compare KPT’s performance with other ports.

During the briefing session, PM Shehbaz said that “Pakistan possesses key geographical importance in the region”. He detailed his meetings with the leaders of Central Asian states and the Russian president during his Kazakhstan visit. He said that Pakistan provides a convenient route for the Central Asian states to gain access to maritime trade while the countries also expressed interest in using Pakistani ports for trade. He said that Islamabad eyes enhancement of exports through its value-addition industry after upgradation of its ports.

He directed port authorities to ensure the installation of modern machinery at the earliest and adopt effective steps for the utilisation of full advantages of the country’s ports.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s offered congratulations to Julian Moazzam James, an officer belonging to the Christian community of Pakistan Army, on his promotion to the rank of Major General and expressed his best wishes for the future. He said that the services of Christian community for the construction, development and defence of Pakistan are unforgettable. He said that Major General Julian Moazzam James’ professional skills and hard work are a beacon for the young generation.