Karachi: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has lauded the leadership of Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping, Senator Babar Khan Ghauri and the efforts of Karachi Port Trust on the occasion of the inauguration of berth no 12 to 14 here today that will attract additional shipping carrying thousands of cargo. This expansion, he said, would give boost to the maritime trade.
The Prime Minister said that in highly competitive environment in global shipping, it had become imperative that our ports kept pace with others to ensure its stay in the business of shipping. It was, therefore, essential for the KPT to improve the quality of services at the port while handling the ships.
The Prime Minister recalled that he inaugurated the Pakistan Deep Water Container Port to accommodate deep draft mother ships. The present democratic government, he said, encouraged the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works to regain its glory by showing commendable performance. The Prime Minister said that he was satisfied to see the progress being made by the Karachi Shipyard.
The Prime Minister expressed his happiness over the induction of state-of-the art powerful tugs acquired from the brotherly country, Turkey. The Induction of these tugs, he added, will surely enable the port to handle even larger ships and facilitate modern and efficient means of cargo handling, which is an important component of competitive edge.
The Prime Minister appreciated the gesture of the Management and the workforce of the KPT for their donation of Rs. 10 million in the Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Fund.
Earlier, the Secretary, Ports and Shipping, highlighted the importance of ports in Pakistan by saying that 97% of trade takes place through sea. He said that on the instructions of the Prime Minister, 30 % port charges were reduced to make Pakistani ports compatible with the regional ones.
The Secretary said that they had adopted the Landlord Port Concept and consequently Pakistan Container Terminal, Karachi International Container Terminal and Cement Silos had been constructed at the cost of $195 million through private investment.
Furthermore, the construction of Deep Water Container Port was under way at the cost of $1.6 billion on BOT basis in collaboration with Hutchison Port Holding and will be operational in March next year, the Secretary said.
The Secretary said that at present, KPT was currently reconstructing its Berths no 10 to 17 A in the East Wharf with an estimated cost of Rs. 5.5 billion. Out of the 5 under construction Berths, the first three Berths, 11, 12, and 13, have been completed the inauguration of which has taken place today. The remaining 2 Berths will become operational by the March next year, the Secretary said.
The Secretary also projected the importance of the Port Qasim, which had been providing modern facilities in the shipping field and which had attracted an investment of $900 million under Landlord Concept.
The Secretary stated that 4 new terminals were expected to be completed by 2014 on BOT basis entailing investment of $500 million. The Secretary emphasized the role of the port in the growth of industrial estates around the port that would have direct bearings not only on the economy of the metropolis but also of the whole country.
The Secretary said that the Deep Water Port of Gawadar had immense potential of becoming the shipping hub by providing an alternative to Gulf Ports and also a vital connectivity to China and the Central Asian Republics.
The Secretary of Ministry of Ports and Shipping said that KPT and PNSC were the public sector organizations, which were earning profits and contributed huge amounts of taxes to the exchequer. He also appreciated the efforts of Minister Senator Baber Khan Ghouri, former Ministers Naveed Qamar, Qamar-uz-Zaman Kaira and Nabeel Gabol for the success achieved by KPT.
On this occasion, the Chairman of the KPT presented a cheque of Rs. 10 million to the Prime Minister for the Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Fund.
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