August 16, 2019
The government has approved a tax incentive for new Pakistani resident ship-owning companies in a bid to boost the shipping sector.
The tax exemption granted of general sales tax and customs duty on import of ships has been extended from 2020 to 2030, the official sources told APP while highlighting the Maritime ministry and its attached department’s one-year performance on Friday.
According to the shipping policy, the new Pakistan resident ship owning companies would pay tonnage tax of United States dollar ($) 0.75 per gross register tonnage (GRT) annually for the first five years of the shipping operations.
No federal taxes (direct and indirect) shall be levied to the detriment of Pakistan Resident Ship Owning companies during the exemption period.
Hydrocarbon cargoes imported by Government Organizations and State-Controlled Enterprises, including MOGAS, High Sulphur Furnace Oil (HSFO), Low Sulphur Furnace Oil (LSFO) , High Speed Diesel (HSD), Liquefied Petroleum Gas( LPG), Crude Oil and Coal shall be imported on Free On Board (FOB) basis through Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) owned vessels, the sources added.
New G to G bilateral Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) imports to be negotiated on FOB basis and shipments to be made through PNSC owned or PNSC chartered vessels.
The shipping sector has been classified as a Strategic Industry. Berthing priority will be given to Pakistan Flag Ships.
The ministry also resolved the Seafarer Service card issue, as they were not being printed for the last two year due to unavailability of required hardware/software at National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).
The task was assigned to Karachi Port Trust (KPT), which in collaboration with NADRA established the facility and printed cards for Seafarers, enabling to board ships.
Similarly, two LR-1 tankers, M.T. Bolan and M.T Khairpur have been inducted in Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC).PNSC was able to achieve the target of adding two (2) aforementioned LR-1 product tankers to its fleet, as an integral and significant part of its fleet expansion plan, by the end of April 2019. The said tankers have boosted PNSC’s cargo carrying capacity to 831,711 DWT and would further contribute to increasing in revenue generation of the Corporation.
KPT with the help of Pakistan Navy and Bahria Foundation, Marine Debris Collection barges have started function to eradicate the pollution at sea, besides successfully handling the largest Container Ship KOTA PEMIMPIN with 12000 TEUs first time in the history of Pakistan.
A dredger ship of KPT, which was out of operations for the last many years, was being made operational after necessary repairs. Further, an inquiry being conducted to fix responsibility for the delay in the operationalization of the dredger ship.
The KPT and Port Qasim Authority (PQA) have been directed to conduct an external audit of their accounts from a renowned audit firm. Night navigation started in PQA to facilitate larger ships in the night.
Port Qasim through state of the art coal & clinker handling terminal (PIBT) during 2018-19 has achieved the first over handling of 8 million tons of Coal against 2.6 million tons of 2017-18.
First time in the history of Pakistan, two (02) LNGCs were handled/berthed in one (01) day during winter by Port Qasim to cope up with Natural Gas requirement of the country.
Port Qasim procured and commissioned two (02) LNG Compatible Tugs of 75 Tons Bollard Pull with state of the art manoeuvring capability/technology.
Port Qasim has procured one new speedy pilot boat of 20 Knots speed and is being operated with the latest machinery and navigational equipment.
Owing to professional handling and available port facilities vessels of bigger size are now calling at Port Qasim, which has enabled to handle 49.031 million tons of cargo in 2018-19 as against the 45.615 million tons in 2017-18.
Port Qasim has made a recovery of Rs. 1.7 billion on account of receivables from land allotted to industries in the previous years.
The Federal Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Ministry to allot sites at Port Qasim to interested LNG terminal developers to establish additional LNG terminal, with the objective to mitigate the shortage of LNG in the Country.
Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) has upgraded and connected Terminal Operating System with Web-Based One Customs (WEBOC), the web-based system for filing Goods Declarations (GD) for import and export cargo, to facilitate importers and exporters, after connecting it with fibre optic.
GPA has completed major infrastructure projects at Gwadar Free Zone Area, enabling 30 enterprises to register within the Free Zone. Further 2 companies, M/S Hk Sun Corporation Ltd and M/S Gwadar United Steel Tube Industry Company (Pvt.) Ltd have already started construction work.
All the major organizations under the Ministry have been directed to establish an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system with the view to bring about efficiency and transparency in the official business.