ISLAMABAD: The government is considering to shift 20 percent workload of Port Qasim and Karachi Port to Gwadar Port, on the recommendation of Balochistan government, official sources told Business Recorder. Gwadar Port is not yet fully operational.

Despite its outsourcing to Port of Singapore Authority, the element of inertia is evident, which requires similar government support as was earlier extended to Port Qasim at its initial stages through allocation of assured cargo, sources quoted Secretary, Ministry of Ports and Shipping Muhammad Saleem Khan, as saying in a proposal to the Prime Minister.

According to sources, the Ports and Shipping Ministry Secretary has expressed the view that Gwadar Port has already handled a wheat-carrying ship in March 2008, and the port operator has adequate arrangements for handling any fresh consignments. Balochistan government has also proposed that 2.5 million tons wheat, being imported by the federal government, should be handled at Gwadar Port to strengthen operational activity.

Besides, the Balochistan Governor has recommended that 20 percent of the workload of other ports should be shifted to Gwadar. Sources said that the Secretaries’ committee, headed by Finance Minister, in its meeting on June 18 had recommended that the federal government should at least allow import of wheat destined to Balochistan through Gwadar Port.

Source: Business Recorder