PM Imran praises ministry for introducing dynamic Blue Economy policy

By: News Desk      Published: 01:07 PM, 15 Aug, 2020
PM Imran praises ministry for introducing dynamic Blue Economy policy
File photo.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday congratulated the Ministry of Maritime Affairs for finalising a new and dynamic Blue Economy policy and promised to fulfil the country’s potential in this respect.

In a tweet, the prime minister said the new policy would revitalise shipping sector and save Pakistan’s valuable foreign exchange reserves besides creating more employment opportunities for seafarers.

The government, Imran added, would also ensure that Pakistan fulfilled the enormous maritime potential which it had.

The term Blue Economy [also called Ocean Economy] refers to and covers many sectors such as shipbreaking, shipping, ports, seafaring, fishing, aquaculture, coastal tourism, minerals and offshore basins.

Last week, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi had unveiled a new shipping policy under which shipping companies could take advantage of liberal fiscal concessions and low mark-up rates offered by the State Bank under the long-term finance facility (LTFF) to acquire ships flying the Pakistan flag.

Zaidi said that Pakistan flag vessels would be given priority berthing at all ports of the country. He said Pakistan resident ship owning company shall be defined as a company registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and having its seaworthy vessels registered under the Pakistan flag.

He lamented that the maritime sector was ignored by the past governments that failed to recognise the potential for the Blue Economy.

Among other prominent features under this new policy, imports by shipping companies of small and large ships in Pakistan will be exempted from customs duty until 2030.

Income from these ships until that period will also be exempted from sales tax and income tax.

Pakistan resident ship-owning companies will pay tax of $0.75 per gross register tonnage for the first five years of the operations.

Vessels under the Pakistani flag will be given priority in berthing at all Pakistani ports.

No preference will be given to Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) in private sector cargo.