A secret $2 billion annual loss to Pakistan economy unearthed
On Thursday, the Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs expressed deep concern about the unlawful activities of foreign trawlers engaged in illegal fishing. They specifically pointed out the smuggling of goods valued at $2 billion. Chaired by Senator Rubina Khalid, the committee, in its meeting, discussed the issue of unauthorized fishing by foreign trawlers, particularly those from China.
Senators Danesh Kumar and Muhammad Akram strongly objected to this unlawful behavior, highlighting the illegal transport of fishing products worth $2 billion. Officials from the ministry confirmed that fishing by foreign trawlers had been prohibited in accordance with the 2021 regulations.
The caretaker minister assured that a thorough investigation into the matter will take place and underlined a zero-tolerance stance on illegal fishing in Balochistan and Sindh. The committee members collectively agreed to conduct a more comprehensive examination of this issue in the upcoming committee meeting in Karachi.
Furthermore, the committee addressed the issue of outstanding rental charges owed by the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) to the Gwadar Port Authority (GPA), as well as the return of a tugboat to the GPA. Ministry officials informed the committee that a meeting between the KPT Chairman and GPA on July 13th resulted in an agreement to resolve this matter.
Additionally, the committee discussed the issuance of licenses and permits by the ministry, its affiliated entities, and organizations to various stakeholders, including investors, shipping lines, importers, exporters, and fishermen.