The government of Pakistan has decided to allow duty-free import of ships and floating crafts in order to encourage ship business in the country. The policy to this effect has been finalized and would be announced soon, said Minister for Communication Lt-Gen (Retd) Javed Ashraf Qazi, in an interview. It has also been decided that there will be no excise duty or any other tax on the import of ships, so that the number of 'Pakistan-flag carrier vessels' could be increased.
The duty-free import, the minister said, would be a major step towards strengthening shipping industry for saving foreign exchange and promoting business activities. The shipping policy, which has already approved by the Cabinet, also envisages some more concessions for ship building industry. A summery to this effect has been sent to the President General Pervez Musharraf for his approval, the minister said.
Javed Ashraf said the ship building, repairing and maintenance will be declared category 'A' industry treating it as value-added sector for investment purposes. Pakistan, he said, could earn a lot of foreign exchange by increasing its potential for ships' building, their repair and maintenance. The policy, he said, also contained suggestions for expanding training network in the country, so that the country could have maximum-trained manpower to work abroad for earning foreign exchange.