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ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs, on Thursday, was informed that the Ministry of Maritime Affairs is launching ferry terminals at the KPT, in line with international standards.

The meeting was chaired by Senator Rubina Khalid, in which the committee discussed the functions and performance of the ministry, besides the Point of Public Importance raised by Senator Muhammad Tahir Bizenjo with regards to fishing by foreign trawlers in the territorial waters of Balochistan.

The Committee was also briefed in detail by Minister Ali Haider Zaidi, on the organisation, functions and performance of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and its attached departments.

The minister apprised the committee that 405 million dollar export has been generated this year.

The chairman PNSC informed the committee that a profit of 2.4 billion last year, and 1.6 billion this year has been generated. The committee was also apprised that Pakistan pays freight bill of 5.5-6 billion US dollars on imports annually.

The minister said that we are launching ferry terminals at the KPT now, according to international standards.

Senator Bizenjo expressed his dismay that so far, no action has been taken to redress this important issue.

He said that fishing is the only source of income for the people of the coastal areas.

The local fishermen are facing hardships currently, due to fishing by trawlers of foreign countries.

He called for searching out an amicable solution to address the issue at the earliest. Chairperson Committee Senator Rubina Khalid emphasised that this issue may be tackled at the earliest possible.

Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi informed that bad weather forced the trawlers to come near Gwadar port area, and no permission has been granted by the concerned authorities for fishing in the area.

He assured the committee to take up the matter at the appropriate level for resolution of the complaint as early as possible.

The committee, however, expressed its displeasure on the progress made so far, and said that it was not satisfied with the reply of the ministry.

The Committee stressed that this matter should be expedited. The chairperson Committee further directed the ministry to co-ordinate with all responsible departments related to this issue and submit a report in the next meeting.

Senator Rubina Khalid also asked for the copy of the new fishing policies in the next meeting, so that the committee can view and give output on the new policy.

The committee was attended by Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, Fida Muhamad, Abdul Qadir, Danesh Kumar, Dost Muhamad Khan, Muhammad Akram, Naseema Ehsan, and Senator Muhammad Tahir Bizenjo, Minister Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi, and other senior officials of the ministry, and the attached departments.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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