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August 20, 2015

Govt support for logistics urged


August 20, 2015

KARACHI: Government support for the logistics sector in resolving the huge challenges the sector faces, can help capitalise the country’s trade potential, this was said during the 5th Professionals Shipping, Logistics and Supply Chain Management Conference held on Wednesday.
The speakers were of the view that to capture the actual potential, the government should improve logistics infrastructure and potential inter-region. Government needs to understand that logistics is a complete industry and the country’s domestic, regional and international trade relied on proper logistics.
The conference highlighted the importance of the development of logistics operators, supply chain service providers and the need for increased support and participation in regional initiatives. There is also a need to improve partnership arrangements with multilateral institutions and key international agencies. There is no structural programme to provide funding for physical and technological infrastructure for warehousing, freight forwarding and trucking sector. Road and infrastructure also needs to be improved.
There are no proper training institutes for drivers, fleet maintenance, warehousing and material handling equipment (MHEs), cold storage technicians, Health Safety Security Environment (HSSE) Engineers. Academia and industry link is weak. It is important to also train workforce for all commercial documentation, processing, labelling and packaging requirements of the international market. There is a need of international certification to promote exports and internal trade, said Muhammad Hanif Ajari, Director Supply Chain, Commercial and Company Secretary, Getz Pharma (Pvt) Ltd.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) General Manager Sohail Yaqoob Abid while talking on the topic of “the role of government in aviation business, a case of PIA” highlighted the importance of the aviation industry and its role into globalising the world. He also criticised the role

of the Civil Aviation Authority in the decline of the national carrier. He admitted there were some inheritance challenges in PIA, but more damage was done by the government’s open sky policy.
Minister for Ports and Shipping Senator Kamran Michael encouraged the private sector and assured that all possible assistance and support will be provided to develop the logistics sector.
He said that Pakistan-Iran Ferry service for pilgrimage and cargo was to be started within three months, for which both Iran and Pakistan government have finalised everything. Only operational matters are to be finalised now. “This would be a cheaper and the best alternate route compared to air travel,” he said.
The federal minister for ports and shipping accepted the deliberations, concerns and recommendations of the conference. He not only assured of his support, but also promised to redress the grievances of the business community. He further assured the participants of the conference of his full assistance for the growth and development of warehousing and port in the country. He also added that government of Pakistan will soon start Ferry Cargo Service from Pakistan to UAE, speedy boats will transport perishable food items to UAE.
Michael said, “We are also installing new scanners at sea ports because the old were outdated, the installation of a new scanner has already taken place.”
Speakers said there were several issues as far as transport and trucking was concerned, especially in terms of policies and incentives. They urged for a need to formalise the trucking industry and develop modern warehousing infrastructure. There is a dire need to improve agri logistics as well. They added that in the absence of a proper logistics mechanism, 40 percent of Pakistan’s agri products were lost before reaching the market, which means significant amount of foreign exchange is lost.
Other speakers were Emil Wyss, Consul General of Switzerland who briefed about Switzerland’s logistics and its world-leading Alp Transit-concept.
Ateeq Ur Rehman spoke of misplaced priorities and gross negligence in the shipping, logistics and warehousing industry of Pakistan. He requested the government to release the burden of the supply chain management entrepreneurs from imposed indirect and withholding taxes. He suggested reducing the custom duty on the import of pre engineered building (warehouse) and place it on zero rating, thus encouraging the growth of warehousing in the country.
The conference was inaugurated by TDAP CEO SM Muneer and was attended by prominent speakers, including Indonesia CG Hadi Santoso, KPT Chairman vice admiral Shafqat Javaid (retd), PNSC Executive Director Bridg Rashid Siddiqui (retd), Air Cargo Agents Association of Pakistan Chairman Farukh Iqbal, PIA General Manager Sohail Yaqoob Abid, Getzs Pharma Supply Chain Director Mohammed Hanif Ajari, Ravian International Managing Director Abdul Majeed Paracha, and Bayer Pakistan CFO Ziad Chaudhry.

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