Freight train service in private sector next year

Karachi: The Infrastructure Project Development Facility IPDF of Federal Finance Ministry would launch freight and cargo train service in private sector in collaboration with Pakistan Railways by mid of coming year.

In this connection, the IPDF has finalized a plan worth 320 million US Dollars for countrywide logistical movement of oil, coal, cement, container cargo, and automobiles. The participants of the 2nd International Shipping, Logistics, and, Supply Chain Management Conference & Exhibition2012 were informed this by Chief Executive of IPDF Adil Anwar.

The moot was jointly organized by Publicity Channel and Pakistan International Freight Forwarding Association, held at a local hotel.

The moot was told that logistics and shipping sectors of the country had been facing several challenges and its growth had been hampered in last 60 years due to numerous factors including apathetic attitude of government authorities, shortage of resources, skilled manpower, and latest technological aides related to the sectors.

The chief of IPDF said that under the plan of freight service train, a commodity train service would be launched with a cost of 40 million US Dollars, which would enable Pakistan Railways to earn Rs 7.8 billion on annual basis while Railways’ earning would reach up to Rs 158 billion in 20 years. In this connection, the agreement would be finalized with prospective private sector organizations till next week.

In his keynote address being chief guest at inaugural session of the conference, President of Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry Haji Fazil Kadir Sherani urged the government authorities to urgently upgrade transportation and road infrastructure of the country and freight forwarding sector of Pakistan should given status of a national level industry.

The FPCCI chief said that government authorities concerned should do their best to overcome the shortage of people properly trained with professional qualifications and skills to handle various aspects of logistics and shipping business.

Trustee of Karachi Port Trust and former chairman of shipping association Muhammad Rajpar said the government should provide an enabling environment for promotion of logistics sector of the country. He said the people associated with logistics sector had to run from pillar to post in six ministries and government departments to get resolved issues related to their business so a consolidated ministry should be formed for facilitating business people of the logistics sector.

He said the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation has been engaged in lifting and shipment of just 15 per cent of the country’s cargo and for handling of rest of the 85 per cent cargo the entrepreneurs and investors in private sector should come forward and devise and propose long-term and short-term strategy for promotion the maritime and shipping sector.

Other speakers of the conference included Chairman Pakistan International Freight Forwarding Association Nadeem Khan, Chairman Air Cargo Agents’ Association Pakistan Farrukh Iqbal, director Pakistan National Shipping Corporation Brig Retd. Rashid Siddiqui, former director general Ports and Shipping Anwar Shah, Force Commander Antinarcotics Force Brig Muhammad Wajid, Captain Riffat Zaheer, Tauseef Ikram, Haneef Idrees, Muhammad Naeem Qureshi, Dr Qaiser Waheed, Qaiser Alam, Captain Irfan Naqvi.

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