ISLAMABAD: The Port Qasim has handled 8 million tons of coal in the last financial year as compared to 2.6 million tons in 2017-18, besides procuring and commissioning two LNG compatible tugs of 75 tons bollard pull with manoeuvring capability/ technology.

According to the one year performance report shared by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, shipping policy has been introduced granting exemption of general sales tax and customs duty on import of ships. Tax incentives granted to shipping sector have been extended from 2020 to 2030.

According to the policy, new Pakistan resident ship owning companies will be incentivized and pay tonnage tax of US$ 0.75 per GRT annually for the first five years of the shipping operations. No federal taxes (direct and indirect) shall be levied to the detriment of Pakistan resident ship owning companies during the exemption period.

The Port Qasim has been enabled to handle 49.031 million tons of cargo in 2018-19 as comparing to 45.615 million tons in 2017-18. The Port Qasim has procured one new speedy pilot boat of 20 Knots speed.

According to the report, the Port Qasim has made a recovery of Rs 1.7 billion on account of receivables from land allotted to industries in the previous years.

The Port Qasim was planning to allot sites to interested LNG terminal developers to establish additional LNG terminal, with the objective to mitigate shortage of LNG in the country.

According to the report, night navigation was started in Port Qasim Authority (PQA) on February 1, 2019. While two LNGCs were handled / berthed in one day during winter by Port Qasim first time to cope with Natural Gas requirement of the country.

According to the report, the Gwadar Port Authority has completed major infrastructure projects at Gwadar Free Zone Area, enabling 30 enterprises to register for the free zone. Two more companies M/S Hk Sun Corporation Ltd. and M/S Gwadar United Steel Tube Industry Company (Pvt.) Ltd have started construction work.

The Gwadar Port Authority has upgraded and connected terminal operating system with web based one customs (WEBOC), the web based system for filing goods declarations (GD) for import and export cargo, to facilitate importer/exporter, after connecting it with fiber optic.  The Karachi Port Trust successfully handled the largest Container Ship KOTA PEMIMPIN with 12,000 TEUs first time in the history of Pakistan.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2019