A domestic and international ferry service from Pakistan is being considered on the instructions of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
In this regard, Minister of Ports and Shipping, Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo chaired a meeting on Tuesday to finalize the licensing agreements for the ferry service.
The meeting was attended by interior, foreign affairs, defence and narcotics control ministries in addition to Federal Board of Revenue and Anti Narcotics Force.
Private Sector Will Be the Main Focus
During the meeting, the Secretary of Ports and Shipping Ministry furnished details of the licensing requirements and the background of the original proposal.
Mir Hasil Khan mentioned that the ferry service will be focused primarily on the private sector. The private sector will also be the main beneficiary of the service, which will be targeted towards businessmen, tourists and overseas workers.
Licensing requirements have been kept as simple as possible for the sake of attracting private sector investments towards the new service.
Although there is a focus on private sector for the investments and licensing, the government will be regulating and facilitating the ferry service.
No Port Charges for Pakistani Operators
Ferry operators who register under the Pakistani flag will not have to pay port charges and annual fee until 2030. If the ferry operator is registered under any other country’s flag, they will have to pay 50% of the port charges only until 2030.
Another purpose of the meeting was to form a committee from the ministries and organizations mentioned earlier. This includes the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Narcotics Control in addition to FBR and Anti Narcotics Force.
The committee will be examining the license applications and will give their recommendations to the DG Ports and Shipping ministry for granting a license or otherwise.
The proposed licensing requirements by the Ministry of Ports and Shipping was approved after a detailed discussion during the meeting following minor changes to the licensing requirements.
Credit : Developing Pakistan