Pakistan is planning to launch ferry services from its Karachi port to Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Oman with an aim to enhance connectivity and provide more services to the people.
According to the South Asian country’s Federal Minister for shipping Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, the draft Ferry Service Policy would be present at the next Cabinet meeting for approval.
“In the draft policy we have given a wide range of concessions, with a tax holiday up to 2040. There will also be no duty and taxes on ferry service as well as on purchase of a ship for introducing the service in the country,” he said, according to the Business Standard.
He said initially ferries will be launched from Karachi to Iran, Dubai and Oman.
Bizenjo said the Ministry of Maritime Services had also suggested that there be no port charges for 4 to 5 years to attract prospective investors to launch ferry and dining cruise services.
He said that during former president Pervaz Musharraf’s era a ferry service was launched but flopped badly because of no regulations and rules to run a completely new trade in the country.
He said the draft policy covers issues such as immigration and narcotics to limit loopholes for any abuse of the service.
Bizenjo said the ferry services would be run by the private and public sectors with the government’s role reducing to issuing licenses by the Director General Ports and Shipping.
He said the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation can also run its ferry service.
“We hope to attract international investors for this service with our rebates,” he added.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)