Karachi Port Trust (KPT) Chairman Muhammad Aslam Hayat has said port charges will be further reduced next month as the Karachi port is 10 to 20 per cent expensive than other ports in the region.
“Port charges have already been reduced by 40 per cent over the past five years,” he said while talking to the media at KPT head office on Monday.
Hayat said increase in trade in Central Asia and Afghanistan had enhanced the importance of Karachi port and keeping in view future transshipment requirements KPT was expanding the port and constructing new berths. In addition to these, a deep water port is also being constructed.
According to him, the port is handling 20 per cent less cargo than its capacity and measures are being taken to bring it on a par with regional ports.
Hayat said the government was considering enhancing security charges for Nato and Isaf containers destined for Afghanistan. At present, 250 vehicles and 1,500 containers of Nato and Isaf were standing at the port, he said, but dispelled the impression that suspension of cargo supply to the international forces in Afghanistan had affected port operations.
He said Nato and Isaf had made alternative arrangements for getting supplies, which had reduced cargo supply from the Karachi port.
General Manager Operations Azhar Hayat Khan said the Karachi port had dropped three notches in regional ranking last year despite a growth of around 10 per cent in container cargo handling.
General Manager Planning and Development Hanif Abdullah, while highlighting the development work at the port, pointed out that 50% work had been completed on the deep water terminal project.