Importers asked to use national shipping lines
ISLAMABAD, Oct 30: Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) asked the government to direct the public sector importers to utilise the services of national shipping lines in order to share more revenue among local companies instead of depending too much on foreign shipping companies.
The PNSC summary has been submitted to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) through the ministry of ports and shipping, which has the global practice of utilising the services of national shipping lines, be adopted in the country too.
“Even the private companies are encouraged to patronise the shipping lines of that country to maintain sea borne capabilities in war and peace,” the summary has said.
The summary has expressed concerns that the importers including PSO, Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) should have all contracts and agreements with the PNSEC as the nominated carrier.
The PNSC said that such measures are needed to avoid total domination of trade by foreign and developed countries on imports and exports, besides, strong shipping lines ensures continuity supply of strategic cargoes.
The summary has given the reference of earlier reports by the experts regarding PNSC, where suggested that all government departments, autonomous and semi-autonomous organisations are to utilise the services of PNSC for carrying their cargoes.
Meanwhile, a senior official of the ministry of ports and shipping said that the Shipping Policy 2001 has laid down cargo preference for the Pakistani ships and shipping companies.
The ministry official said that one reason for utilising the services of foreign carriers was neither availability of ships on urgent basis or cheaper freight charges – but it was more to do with the personal gains for the officials involved in making deals with foreign shipping companies.
“The minister for ports and shipping will also raise this issue at the ECC, when this agenda will be taken up,” the official told Dawn.
The summary has been circulated to all the concerned ministries including the planning commission, petroleum ministry and the commerce ministry.
However, the petroleum ministry has responded to the issue saying that the PNSC should compete with other shipping companies for cargoes imported by the public sector organisations.