Monday September 27, 2021

KPT’s financial audit has not been done since 2010: Ali Zaidi

KPT’s financial audit has not been done since 2010: Ali Zaidi

KARACHI: Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi on Sunday said the financial audit of the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) had not been done since 2010.

Addressing a press conference at the KPT House, the minister said the KPT's workshop had been closed for the last 14 years, adding the PTI was not in power for the past 14 years. The Karachi Port Trust still has more employees than its capacity and the current government will not allow the port’s land to be leased for pennies, he said, adding the past governments had neglected the port and shipping sector.

Zaidi said the Port Qasim has now become the premier port of Pakistan. “Port Qasim earned a profit of Rs67 billion from 1973 to 2018 while from September 2018 to June 2021, it has earned a profit of Rs44 billion,” he said, adding “We have stopped illegal activities during this period, solved other problems, including water and electricity in the Port Qasim.”

“People have paid for the land but the lands are still occupied. They are occupying the industrial land with a stay order,” he said. He said the PTI’s government’s goal was to improve Port Qasim up to international standards. “Five new berths and three terminals are going to be constructed at Port Qasim while 55 million cubic meters is to be drilled in one channel,” the minister said, adding the Korangi Fish Harbour was being run without a managing director for the last 12 years.

Zaidi said the stranded cargo ship Heng Tong 77 will not be allowed to leave Pakistan until its dues were paid. He said for the first time in history, the ship got stuck and came out unbroken.

Zaidi said the blue economy can change the destiny of the country. “About 80 percent of the country's trade is from the port and 80 percent of Customs taxes are collected from the port,” he said.

He said ports and shipping are part of the blue economy, adding industries in countries seem to be closer to the port so that production costs are lower. The country's economy is dependent on trade from the sea.

He also announced that Port Qasim will gift hybrid buses to the University of Karachi, Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), SMC and the NED University. Prime Minister’s Special Assitant for Maritime Affairs Mahmood Maulvi and other senior KPT officials were present on the occasion.