Pakistan government to cut export freight costs by 50%
Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is set to cut port charges for export cargo by 50% in an effort to boost exports.
The board of directors of the Port Qasim Authority (PQA) has already approved a 50% reduction in port charges for export cargoes to help increase export volumes.
Sources told The Express Tribune that the Department of Maritime Affairs has tabled a proposal in this regard to the Cabinet Committee on Transport and Logistics (CCoTL). The cabinet body approved the proposal.
At a meeting last week, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs briefed the cabinet on the proposal to reduce port charges for export cargo by 50%.
It was informed that in order to facilitate exporters and improve the volume of exports, the PQA Board of Directors at its meeting held on July 16, 2021 adopted a resolution and approved the proposal to reduce the costs of port (wet / dry) for export cargo for a period of one year.
It approved a 50% reduction in port loads (wet / dry, i.e. wharf, port dues and pilotage) for export cargoes at longitudinal wharf No. 1 and 2, at Fauji Akber terminal Portia, at the Fotco terminal and at the PIBT terminal.
For containerized cargo handled at DP World (QICT), the wharf charge is also reduced by 50% on containers carrying export and transshipment cargo (but it is not applicable to empty containers).
The Department of Maritime Affairs asked the CCoTL to approve the board resolution as a condition of federal approval under section 13 (4) of the Port Authority Act 1973 Qasim.
The cabinet body discussed and unanimously supported the proposal. The Minister of Railways said the Ministry of Maritime Affairs should ensure that the relief can be passed on to exporters so that the benefit of the reduction can be achieved in real letter and in spirit.
The aviation minister said the PQA board may also consider granting a similar benefit to importers. This will help reduce prices in the country.
While supporting the proposal, the Prime Minister’s Trade and Investment Advisor Abdul Razak Dawood said it was a laudable initiative for promoting exports.
He added that logistics and transportation should be considered holistically in order to develop linkages to make the whole process beneficial for increasing trade with other countries, especially Central Asian states.
CCoTL considered a summary regarding the reduction in port charges and approved the proposal.
He also decided that the PQA should seek a legal opinion on the exclusive rights for the handling of coal by the PIBT and communicate it positively to the Ministry of Maritime Affairs within one week for submission to the CCoTL.
He agreed that the secretary of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs would forward the directive to the PQA.
He ruled that Karachi Port Trust (KPT) should seek legal advice on the Supreme Court ruling on stopping coal handling. It will submit the modus operandi for the management of coal handling through its terminal.
He may also consider the possibility of filing a petition for review against the order after developing appropriate SOPs. A report in this regard will be submitted to the Ministry of Maritime Affairs within two weeks, for subsequent submission of a summary for CCoTL review.
It also decided that KPT should examine the possibility of a reduction in port charges as has been done by the PQA and submit a proposal to the CCoTL through the Ministry of Maritime Affairs for consideration.
Source: L’Express Tribune