KARACHI: Karachi Port has experienced a reduced cargo handling activity for the last two years due to reduction in NATO and US military supplies.
This was revealed by Karachi Port Trust officials before the National Assembly Standing Committee on Ports and Shipping. The committee met with Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah in the chair where briefing was given on the performance of the ministry and its attached departments.
The KPT officials informed the committee that 37.88 million tonnes and 38.85 million tonnes of cargo was handled at the Karachi port during 2012 and 2013 respectively, against 41.42 million tonnes and 41.43 million tonnes during 2010 and 2011. The committee was informed that KPT had a total of 13,700 acres of industrial land of which about 95 percent had been leased out to over 3,600 persons and companies. However, MNA Nabeel Gabol raised objections to the process, saying that the land was being leased out to influential people who had fake registered companies in Dubai and other countries as the land could be leased only to foreign investors. He further said that all these allotments were cancelled in 2008, however due to some influence the order were not implemented.
KPT officials told the committee that a process of cancellation of such plots had been started. The committee directed the officials to apprise the body in next meeting with details about the land allotment. Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) has claimed to be among the few institutions running in profit and registered Rs 1.99 billion profit in 2013 as compared to Rs 753.1 million during the same period of the corresponding year. The committee was further informed that Pakistan’s maritime trade remained at 64.21 million tonnes of which PNSC contribution remained at 13.39 million tonnes which is 20.85 per cent in 2013 which is highest since 1979.
However, the committee expressed serious concerns over the selling of 48 ships, PNSC had in 1979, which were reduced to nine in 2013. PNSC made a good contribution to the country’s economy during last 11 years as it paid Rs 1.78 billion dividend to the government, paid Rs 4.455 billion as tax, earned $1.37 billion revenue in terms of foreign exchange, acquired 13 ships at cost of $ 325.44 million while disposed of 19 ships earning $70.243 million.
Meanwhile Marine Fisheries Department officials briefed the committee that fish and shrimp were processed in Pakistan from chilled, frozen, cured and canned products. In addition, fishmeal was also produced from small pelagic, by-catch and offal of other fisheries.
Fish and fishery products are exported to 61 countries of the world including China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, EU countries, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Singapore and others. A major fraction of seafood is exported in frozen from whereas dried, chilled, fresh fish and live crabs are also exported.
Pakistan exported 144.1 million metric tonnes of fish and fishery products in 2012-13 and earned 317 million dollar, while a target of 146 million metric tonnes with the revenue of 340 million dollar has been envisaged for 2013-14. Gwadar Port Authority has accrued an income of Rs 902.531 million since 2008 from 26 ships of wheat with 90,000 tonnes cargo, 162 ships of fertiliser with 41.6 million tonnes cargo and other ships tug boats and war ships 37 medium size boats, Director GPA informed the committee.