KARACHI (February 01 2003) : The Port Qasim Authority (PQA) is considering further reduction in the port tariff. It is presently cheaper by five percent in wet charges for container vessels as compared to the Karachi Port, sources at Port Qasim revealed on Friday.
The comparison drawn between charges at the two main ports after about 13 percent reduction in port charges announced by the Karachi Port, indicate that for general import cargo wet charges at PQA are cheaper by three percent whereas the wharfage per tonne is cheaper by 13 percent.
Similarly, for export cargo like wheat, the wet charges at Port Qasim are cheaper by three percent and the cost per tonne of wharfage is cheaper by 34 percent.
The wet charges include port dues, berth fee, Pilotage, tug charges and pilot boat charges.
Sources revealed that cargo business at Port Qasim is on Customs increase. The Port is expected to handle 17 million tonnes of cargo during 2002-2003, which shows an increase of 23 percent as compared with cargo, handled during the previous year.
It has already handled cargo volume of eight million tonnes during July-December 2002-03, which marked an increase of 29 percent over the corresponding period of last year.
Ship calling at Port Qasim also registered an increase during the period under review.
The PQA financial regime also improved by more than 100 percent during the first half of 2002-03.
Several projects are underway which would greatly boost trade at the Port. These include setting up of a liquid cargo terminal, construction of silos, acquisition of dredger and floating craft, deepening and widening of navigational channel.
The Port has also introduced night navigation, which increased ship traffic considerably.
Sources further said that the PQA management is striving hard to provide adequate timely and cost efficient facilities to cater for the expanding maritime trade of the country.
It has already contributed remarkably to the country's revenue in the form of duty and taxes.
The Collectorate of Customs Port Mohammad Bin Qasim collected Rs 21 billion as duty and taxes during the first six months of 2002 as against Rs 15 billion collected during the same period last year.