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Shipping Sector declared as strategic industry: FM for Maritime Affairs

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September 20, 2019: Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, along with the Advisor to Prime Minister for Commerce, Investment, Industries & Production and Textile Razzaq Dawood held a press conference to shed light on the salient features of shipping policy ratified by Cabinet. Secretary, Maritime Affairs Rizwan Ahmed and Parliamentary Secretary, Captain (r) Jameel Ahmed were also present.

Shipping industry nosedived in the last five decades due to hostile policies of the consecutive governments towards this highly significant sector, said Ali Zaidi. He further said that once Pakistan had a flourishing shipping industry, which was affected by nationalization, it never took off after that. Self-sustainable economy is the primary objective of the incumbent government, but how can this be achieved when billions of dollars are spent on freight charges to international companies?

It is quite embarrassing that we have only 11 ships in the fleet of state owned Pakistan National Shipping Corporation while countries like Bangladesh, Iran and India have hundreds, remarked Abdul Razzak Dawood.

Explaining the salient features of the policy, Ali Zaidi stated, that the prevalent tax incentives given to shipping sector have been extended to 2030. No Federal Taxes, both direct and Indirect, shall be levied to Pakistan Resident Ship Owning Companies during this period. Breaking the monopoly of PNSC and for the development of the private sector, the preferences to PNSC on private cargo are no more in effect.

Another remarkable step is to give concession of 25 cents per GRT which is paid annually that makes GRT applicable to private firms USD 0.75 annually till the first five years of the induction of that vessel in the fleet while PNSC will pay USD 1.00 per GRT annually. Pakistani Flag carriers will get the first berthing rights. The charges paid to Pakistani vessels will be in Pakistani rupees. Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs concluded with the following remarks, shipping sector has never been given its due attention since the independence of Pakistan. He invited the investors across the globe to invest in Pakistan, because it is the ripe time. Once there will be shipping firms, there will be jobs which save precious foreign exchange.

Posted on: 2019-09-20T09:56:00+05:00