KARACHI: The Pakistan Ship’s Agents Association (PSAA) strongly backs enhanced bilateral trade with India as it is imperative for the economic growth of the country.
This is stated by the Chairman Pakistan Ships Agents Association, Mohammed A. Rajpar during an exclusive interview with Customs Today at his office.
Rajpar while sharing his views said that privatization of the institutions and its resources is vital for development and progress of the country. He said that the national economy remained stable in the regime of former General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, as his government was focused on development works.
Replying to a question, Rajpar said that the stated policies of the PML-N government are laudable, however; timely implementation would be needed to get good results.
“We have recommended to the government for introducing automation and enhancing the trade activities in order to improve the working scenario at ports”, he informed.
Rajpar further stressed on the capacity enhancement at ports adding that 16 metre depth at Karachi Port and Port Muhammad Bin Qasim would be required, so that gigantic ships can harbor at ports and the imports of the country could be increased.
Talking on labor reforms, the Chairman PSAA said that the government should look into the matter seriously.
Rajpar pointed out that incompetent and unskilled workers are hired at both the ports i.e. Karachi Port and Port Muhammad Bin Qasim under Karachi Docks Labor Port (KDLP).
“Thousands of workers have been recruited in KDLP on political basis for last 20 years which is an extra burden on the country’s economy, as more than half of the total employees in KDLP are withdrawing their salaries as ‘ghost employees’, he asserted.
Responding to a query, the Chairman PSAA said that internal trade deficit, lawlessness, rising population and other such issues are the main hurdles in the progress of the economy, adding that the government should redress the said issues in order to improve the economy activities.
Rajpar regretted that no policy direction on shipping industry has yet been formulated since independence as successive governments do not interact with the stakeholders in this regard.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajpar said that the revival of the shipping industry on war-footing basis is crucial for the sustainable economy, adding that long term policies in this regard are needed to be made for getting desirable results.
Answering to a question, the Chairman PSAA endorsed the demand made by Chairman Pakistan International Freight Forwarders Association (PIFFA) for making Karachi a transshipment hub.
He informed that the PSAA has already written a letter to the federal government in this regard and is waiting for kind reply.
To a query, Rajpar clarified that the shipping companies are charging detention charges up to US$5 to US$7 per day.
Rajpar said that the PSAA is the sole trade association representing the shipping agents. It is licensed for whole Pakistan by the Ministry of Commerce, Directorate General of Trade Organisation (DGTO) under Trade Organisation Act, 2013.
He further said that the PSAA comprised over 70 reputed members handling vessels at ports. The main objective of the PSAA is to resolve the issues faced by the members and to make a positive contribution in the long term progress and growth of the ports and shipping industry.