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Event Title: Senator Mrs. Rubina Khalid, Chairperson Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs presiding over a Meeting of The Committee at Parliament House Islamabad

Event Date: 2022-12-13

The Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs met on Tuesday under the chairpersonship of Senator Rubina Khalid here at the Parliament House to discuss an implementable vision for revival and development of inland waterways transport in Pakistan and Pakistan Merchant Marine Shipping Policy, 2001 and Pakistan Merchant Shipping Ordinance, 2001. 

While discussing the Pakistan Inland Waterways Transport, committee members, the ministry and private corporate sector deliberated at length on developing a long term, economically viable and sustainable IWT solution for Pakistan. The committee was in consensus that developing IWT is socio-economically viable and is likely to result in major economic gains for the country. The Minister for Maritime Affairs, Faisal Subzwari ensured the committee that concrete steps will be taken for legislation on inland waterways transport and the matter will be taken to the cabinet. The minister apprised the committee, that a MoU has been signed with Oman for ferry service between Gwadar and Muscat.The committee advised the Ministry to set up a Cell in the Ministry to oversee, manage and develop IWT, with representation of private sector stake holders, relevant ministries and provincial departments on the board. It was believed that active stakeholder participation should be an important element at all stages of development. The committee while stressing the need of IWT said that IWT will contribute in flood control which is expected to be a regular feature for Pakistan as per the global climate change. The IWT will also contribute to lower logistics costs for shippers and consumers, reduce carbon emissions and less pressure on roads.
The committee while discussing the “Pakistan Merchant Marine Shipping Policy, 2001 said that the main reason was the investors’ confidence which was shaken by the nationalization of private shipping lines in 1971. The Committee directed the Ministry to sit with the private sector stake holders for ease of business.

The committee was apprised by the Ministry that the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 2001 is the main legislation governing the shipping industry. Amendments are made from time to time on the directions of the government and to bring the law in conformity with international best practices and standards. The committee was apprised that certain amendments proposed to ensure good working conditions health, welfare and social security, terms of engagement, wages of seafarers etc are awaited for approval  

Briefing on Pakistan National Shipping Corporations revenues, expenditures development and procurement projects completed or in progress since 2009 was also taken up. The committee was apprised that the PNSC currently have fleet strength of 13 vessels. The PNSC has recently acquired two second hand aframax crude oil tankers vessels in August 2022 increasing the deadweight tonnage capacity to 1.046 ml tons which is highest in the history of PNSC the committee was also apprised that three ships are retiring and it takes about 2 to 2 and a half year to buy a ship. It was also apprised that a 5 year old ship gives the same amount of earning as a new ship therefore it is always advisable to buy a 5 year old ship. It was also apprised that the financial statements of Pakistan national Shipping Corporation are prepared in accordance with the approved accounting standards by SECP as applicable in Pakistan Including fourth schedule to the Companies Act, 2017 

The meeting was attended by Senator Nuzhar Sadiq, Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir, Senator Muhammad Akram, Senator Naseema Ehsan and Senator Saifuallah Abro. Senior officers from the ministry and other attached departments from different provinces were also in attendance.