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Govt urged to reform ports to improve ranking

Govt urged to reform ports to improve ranking

KARACHI: The shipping and communications experts have urged the government to start reforms at ports as soon as possible in order to improve the country’s ranking in international ports.

The experts, speaking at a world conference and an exhibition of Multi-Modal Transportation and Logistics – INTERTRANS 2013 at a local hotel, urged the government to increase trade with other countries and reduce the timings of container clearance at the all ports.

The communications laws should be changed so that overcrowding at ports and problems to the stakeholders could be avoided, they said. They informed the audience that according to World Bank, presently Pakistan ports stand at 71st place amongst 156 countries but this ranking could be improved by taking bold steps. The experts said that many suggestions and proposals had been sent to the govt to overcome the stakeholders’ problems regarding containers’ handling and clearing at ports.

Port Qasim Authority chairman Agha Jan Akhtar said that the government should improve logistics including coordination, communications and road networks before linking Gwadar Port with the Central Asian countries and turning it into a model port.

He said that coordination among stakeholders including Railways, National Logistics Corporation, National Highways, Customs and road transport operators should be improved through such conferences.

The experts emphasised upon improving supply chain, which is very important in transportation and international trade, along with ports and shipping and customs clearance problems at all ports. They said that safe transportation of cargo was more important than timely movement of freight.

National Centre for Maritime Policy Director General Vice Admiral (R) Asaf Humayun, International Chamber of Commerce Chairman Tariq M Rangoonwala, Sindh Revenue Board Commissioner Daud Pirzada and Civil Aviation Authority Airport Manager Afsar Malik also spoke on the occasion.