Posted on May 10, 2023
ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel was informed on Friday that maintenance dredging of Gwadar Port is the responsibility of Pakistan, but 91 percent of the profit from port operations goes to a Chinese company.
The Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs was told by the Maritime Affairs Ministry that 91 percent of the profit from port operations goes to a Chinese company, whereas, Pakistan’s share is only nine percent.
The officials said that the Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) was unable to carry out this most important obligation on an annual basis due to the non-provision of required funds.
While taking a briefing on the regular maintenance and dredging facilities of Karachi Port Trust (KPT), Senator Saifullah Abro raised questions on the procurement of the hopper barges in 2013-14, to which the official said dredgers were not purchased at that time, adding at present, KPT has four dredgers.
Senator Abro recommended that a report may be sought on all the tenders issued and advertised and the reason why the tender is not executed and the need to re-tender arises.
The committee observed that re-tendering is an expensive process also if the tender is not executed timely the purchase cost increases with the lapse of time.
The committee was also briefed on the designed depth of channel/berths/Ops/FMs, sanctioned depth, volumes and dredging priority and dredging platforms.
The chairman committee stressed that the dredgers should be well maintained.
It was briefed that the KPT has a sufficient number of dredging platforms only to meet its own maintenance dredging requirements in Karachi Port/berths.
It was also briefed that the existing servers are relatively old and frequently require extensive repair/maintenance works even though they met the annual requirement, however, require progressive replacement in the next 03-05 years.
While discussing the implementation status of the recommendations made by the committee relating to re-writing the Pakistan Merchant Marine Shipping Policy and Pakistan Merchant Shipping Ordinance, 2001, the officials said that a committee has been constituted comprising all key stakeholders to review and make amendments in the policy.