PSA offers concessional rates for wheat import handling

ISLAMABAD — Port Authority of Singapore (PSA), the operator of Gwadar Deep Sea Port in Pakistan's Balochistan province, has offered the government to charge concessional rates for handling the proposed import of 0.6 million tonnes of wheat at the port.

By A Correspondent

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Published: Sat 5 Jan 2008, 9:05 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:27 PM

The government plans to import wheat this month to help meet the growing shortage of the commodity across Pakistan.

Official sources said that the singapore firm wanted to make the port fully operational by handling this huge quantity of wheat.

Tenders for importing wheat has just been floated by the government. The director-general of Gwadar Port Authority Ahmad Bukhsh Lehri confirmed that the operator of the Gwadar Port has offered to charge concessional rates for the import of wheat.

He also said that interest of foreign investors was increasing in the region after the port was inaugurated last year. He said that China has expressed its readiness to connect Gwadar port with Sinkiang and develop a corridor for oil as Gwadar was fast becoming the hub of economic activities. A Chinese company, he said, has also entered into an agreement to set up a steel mill in Gwadar.

He said that the Singapore firm has overcome its major problems by having three berths which have successfully started handing the arriving ships at Gwadar port.

Over 20 year tax exemptions had been given to the Singapore authority while a 15-year tax holiday in the proposed Export Processing Zone (EPZ) near Gwadar port was also expected to further help attract local and foreign investment there. There will be tax exemption on customs, sales tax and excise duty in the EPZ with a view to promote substantial investment in Gwadar.

Sources said that several foreign investors have shown interest in establishing mega refineries, building storage capacity and undertaking other businesses in Gwadar to help expedite the process of industrialisation in the Balochistan province.

With the completion of both the phases of Gwadar port, a Special Industrial Development Zone (SIDZ) with an area of 4000 hectares has also been proposed for setting up various industries.

The SIDZ is located on the north of Gwadar town at a distance of about 30 kilometres from the port.

Sources said that foreign vessels could come and unload their goods at Gwadar whose first phase of the construction has finished at an upwardly revised cost of $298 million.

The additional funding had been provided by the federal government to install the required equipment, complete the civil work and build roads linking the port with Quetta and other upcoming areas.

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