Pakistan National Shipping Corporation is planning to ferry people from Doha, Muscat and Dubai. This was revealed in a set of documents received on Monday.
This plan is followed by PNSC’s initial plan in 2016 to run the ferry service from Karachi to ports of Gwadar and Chabahar. According to sources, the plan is expected to reach completion by 2018.
Recommendations for The Ferry Service
The following recommendations were made in a document, for the commencement of the ferry service:
- The service should provide its passengers with the following facilities: a canteen, waiting area, restrooms, terminal, embarkation and disembarkation areas, immigration and customs, quarantine area, electricity and standby electricity, car parking, first aid and communications.
- Passengers must also be facilitated with speedy clearance of luggage and cargo.
- The process of visa issuance and immigration should be smooth, with considerable attention paid to illegal immigrants, and issues related to immigration of Iranians.
- There’s a need for the Interior Ministry, as well as ministries for narcotics control, defence and foreign affairs to work in unison and make security arrangements for the crew and passengers as required.
- There should be a full waiver on port tariffs and charges. The charges would include: berth hire, wharfage, pilotage, and passenger handling.
No Port Charges or Annual License Fee
In addition to the above recommendations, the PNSC submitted a letter to the chairpersons of Karachi Port Trust, Port Qasim and Gwadar Port Authority. The letter contained a request for a waiver on port charges and annual license renewal fees until 2030 as a means to promote the service and encourage investors.
According to a letter written to Federal Secretary of Ministry of Ports and Shipping, the officials of PNSC will hold detailed meetings to present their plans.
PNSC will soon take the government on board with its plans following the discussion of various matters relating to its new venture with the National Assembly Standing Committee on Ports and Shipping.
Project Already Underway
The corporation has already obtained a no-objection certificate for the venture in March 2017 from the Ministry of Ports and Shipping and has begun the process of scrutiny for ferries.
“The initiative would promote ferry service in Pakistan and encourage both public and private sector entrepreneurs to enter into this trade,” the letter to the Karachi Port Trust, Port Qasim and Gwadar Port said.