New shipping policy to help promote blue economy: Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi

Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi said the new shipping policy introduced by the government would help in promoting blue economy in the country. Participating in the budget debate in the National Assembly, he said the maritime related blue economic sector remained neglected during past governments, but the incumbent government took several initiatives to exploit this sector. He said that on international seafarers day his ministry plans to train maximum number of people as seafarers to send them abroad to work in foreign flag vessels.

He said Pakistan seafarers working abroad only send $50 million remittances annually however a country like Philippines receive over $6 billion per year from their seafarers working abroad. The minister said during his tenure, Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) paid back loans of Rs 4.7 billion, while Karachi Port Trust recovered damages of Rs 2.2 billion. Further, he informed that since 2010 no audit of KPT and Port Qasim has taken place in the past and now the current government started the process of audit.