KARACHI: Atif Ikram Sheikh, President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), has said that Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, federal minister for maritime affairs, has in principle agreed to FPCCI demand that there should be a strong and effective authority to regulate ports, terminals, shipping lines and allied matters in order to protect, facilitate and promote country trade, logistics and commercial activities.

He extended his full support to the ministry for the consultative process in establishing the aforementioned authority “ and, demanded that FPCCI representatives should be included from the very beginning to align the process with ground realities.

It is pertinent to note that the minister of maritime affairs called a high-profile meeting of all stakeholders on the subject of shipping companies regulations; where FPCCI represented the collective grievances and concerns of the entire business, industry and trade community of Pakistan being the apex body.

Saquib Fayyaz Magoon, SVP FPCCI, pointed out that Native Jetty interchange is the only route to country largest and the busiest port; i.e., Karachi Port “and, in case of any eventuality, country trade will be on a standstill. Therefore, there is a glaring need to build an alternative route to divide the traffic to Karachi port. He added that ports and connected infrastructure of Pakistan needs a major overhaul and expansion.

Asif Sakhi, VP FPCCI, stressed upon the need to implement SRO 450 in letter and spirit to give fair treatment to the trading community. He added that while custom officers are exercising their authorities in this regard; but they should be enabled to fully facilitate the traders through removal of any ambiguities or anomalies.

Aman Paracha, VP FPCCI, demanded that the ports and terminal charges should be rationalised and made regionally-competitive. Business community is already under tremendous pressure due to the exorbitant and unbearable cost of doing business because of power& gas tariffs; petroleum prices; 22 percent policy rate and volatile economic environment.

Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, federal minister for maritime affairs, assured FPCCI delegation that his ministry will keep close liaison with the apex body; and, industrialists and exporters will be incentivized for their contributions and will be given fair treatment.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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