Pakistan needs a maritime regulatory body to regulate ports, terminals, and shipping lines.

Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh, President of FPCCI, has informed that Mr. Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, federal minister for maritime affairs, has, in principle, agreed to FPCCI’s demand that there should be a strong and effective authority to regulate ports, terminals, shipping lines, and allied matters to protect, facilitate, and promote the country’s trade, logistics, and commercial activities.

Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh extended his full support to the ministry for the consultative process in establishing the authority mentioned above and demanded that FPCCI representatives 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 shipping company regulations, where FPCCI, as the apex body, represented the collective grievances and concerns of the entire business, industry, and trade community of Pakistan.

Mr Saquib Fayyaz Magoon, SVP FPCCI, pointed out that the Netty Jetty interchange is the only route to the country’s largest and the busiest port, i.e. Karachi Port – and, in case of any eventuality, the country’s 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 Pakistan’s ports and connected infrastructure need a major overhaul and expansion.

Mr. Asif Sakhi, VP of FPCCI, stressed the need to implement SRO. 450 in letter and spirit to give fair treatment to the trading community. He added that while customs officers exercise their authority in this regard, they should be able to fully facilitate the traders by removing any ambiguities or anomalies.

Mr. Aman Paracha, VP of FPCCI, demanded that the ports and terminal charges be rationalised and made regionally competitive. The business community is already under tremendous pressure due to the exorbitant and unbearable cost of doing business, which is caused by power and gas tariffs, petroleum prices, a 22 percent policy rate, and a volatile economic environment.

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

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