KARACHI: Gwadar Port plans to handle 125,000 tons of fertiliser during the current year, but the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) is creating hurdles for the port, an official said on Thursday.
“The Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) is creating problems for the Tally Contractor, Hussain Traders.”
The contract for Tally services (to monitor the weight and counting of the bags) was awarded to Hussain Traders, Karachi, for one-year till March 2012, but the PSA refused the services and stopped its entry to the port, saying that it has not received any intimation from the Gwadar Port authorities.
National Fertiliser Marketing Limited (NFML) Managing Director Brigadier Bilal Ahmad Khan wrote a letter to the industries and production ministry secretary, saying that the sowing season is in progress and any delay in delivery of fertiliser to farmers will be on account of the PSA Gwadar.
He requested the secretary to direct the PSA not to hinder smooth flow of work as the above contractor has been selected to ensure proper weight of the fertiliser.
Bilal said that Hussain Traders established facilities in Gwadar to unload fertiliser, but the PSA Gwadar stopped it, saying that the Sindh High Court (SHC) in its judgement had granted exclusive rights to PSA Gwadar for any cargo handling at the port.
He said that in case if the tender was awarded to PSA Gwadar, which does not took part in the bidding process, it would not only hurt the sanctity of tenders, but will also damage the position of the Gwadar Port authorities.
PSA Gwadar Spokesperson Faisal Javed said that the authority had stopped Hussain Traders from Tally Services because there was no intimation from NFML regarding the company, but now the issue has been resolved as PSA has received the letter and it has given permission to Hussain Traders to start operations at the Gwadar Port.
The PSA stopped the tally service when variations were witnessed in the net weight of the fertiliser bags, the spokesperson said, adding that it is in talks with Hussain Traders to handle tally services of two of the fertiliser vessels out of a total of four. The remaining two vessels would be handled by the PSA Gwadar, he said.
Meanwhile, Hussain Traders is likely to challenge and sue for damages as his manpower has been forced out of the port, it is learnt.