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Government taking steps to improve facilities at KPT: Gilani

Tuesday, 21 February 2012 | 00:00
Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said that the government had taken a number steps to improve facilities at the Karachi Port Trust as the shipping was the backbone of economic activity in the country. Addressing a function here at Karachi Port Trust to mark the launching of Phase-2 of the Reconstruction of Berths, the Prime Minister said the KPT had been a centre of progress and the nation was proud of its achievements in making this city one of the major maritime terminals of South Asia.
He said the past few decades have witnessed tremendous development and the modernization of ports and port-related facilities all over the world and the KPT continued to compete these developments. He said competition to provide quick turnaround and the ability to match the ever-deepening draft of modern ships is relentless and no port management can afford to be less efficient.
The Prime Minister said the project, when completed, will add a new dimension to the scope of port, its cargo-handling facilities and in achieving the national economic goals. He said the port will provide 922 meters of modern, efficient cargo handling berths, capable of handling import and export cargo for the next 30 years.
Gilani said the globalization has influenced the shipping industry in more than one way and enhanced its importance manifolds with the result that the shipping industry has been devising efficient ways to encourage healthy competition in the fields of production and transportation. He said the latest emerging trends of global maritime requirements have made it incumbent on Pakistan to explore ways aimed at improving productivity and services in terms of quality and economy.
The Prime Minister said it is imperative that the Karachi Port keeps abreast of the latest trends in the field and invests in the infrastructure development to maximize its potential. “Nature has provided Karachi with a unique natural harbour. It is strategically situated to serve as a gateway to the hinterland of Pakistan and even beyond its boundaries, right up to Central Asia,” he added.
The Prime Minister said the KPT since its inception has been aware of its responsibility and has focused on developing its facilities and scope. Gilani said he inaugurated the Pakistan Deep Water Container Port in 2009, which is a mega project and will have the potential to accommodate deep draft mother ships.
He said various plans of KPT, including the cargo village and harbour crossing bridge stand out as the hallmark and will carve out a modern trade handling infrastructure in Karachi. The KPT is contributing to the city of Karachi through its civic responsibilities including construction of jetties, islands, other flyovers and road connectivity projects, he added.
The Prime Minister said a central feature of the KPT manifesto has been its responsibility to both the nation and Karachi and he could see the vision of the present government reflected in the Trust’s developmental plans. He said the projects have been undertaken and successfully completed, and the growing volume of trade reflects their success.
The Prime Minister said the KPT is older than Pakistan and this year marks 125 years of its existence. He said the demands of commerce have been a driving force but the KPT has balanced this with patriotism and civic support and contributing to the prosperity of the nation and Karachi. The Prime Minister said he was glad to know that the reconstruction of these berths will be completed in 2014 and thanked to all the stakeholders who have extended their technical and financial support for the completion of the project. He also congratulated the KPT working under the guidance of the Ministry of Ports and Shipping for these latest improvements and for increasing profit of Rs. 18 billion by its different sections. The Prime Minister directed the Sindh Chief Minister to ensure the safety at the Karachi Port Trust and added efforts should be made that there should be no street crimes.
He also announced one month bonus for the employees of KPT on this occasion. The Prime Minister also asked the Ministry for Ports and Shipping to ensure the implementation of the policy of the government to regularize all the daily wages and contract employees of the KPT.
He also announced the restoration of employees quota for their sons and daughters for recruitment in the KPT. The Prime Minister also announced to give 50 mobile units to the KPT. The function was also attended by Governor Sindh Ishrat ul Abad, Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah and Minister for Ports and Shipping Senator Babar Khan Ghauri and other officials.
Source: Pakistan Observer
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