KARACHI: Transforming Pakistan into a transshipment hub is imperative for growth and development of the country.
This was stated by Pakistan International Freight Forwarders Association (PIFFA) Chairman Abdul Majeed Paracha in an exclusive interview with Customs Today at his office. He aimed that it is one of his top most priorities to work for making the country a transshipment hub.
“Being the incumbent chairman of PIFFA, I am trying my best for realising this idea of transshipment hub in my tenure,” he intended.
Abdul Majeed Paracha, while expressing concerns over the non-issuance of licences to PIFFA members, said it seems freight forwarders have not yet been recognised as individual entity that is why shipping licences are not being issued to them.
Paracha demanded Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Pakistan Customs to issue licences to freight forwarders in individual capacity for filing their own manifestations.
Replying to a question, the PIFFA chairman said that it is imperative to make International Road Transport (IRT) in Islamabad operational for enhancing trade in a better way.
Paracha demanded of the authorities concerned to ensure the ‘Full Container Load’ (FCL) facility to the PIFFA members.
“The PIFFA members have complete infrastructure, but they are not given the facility of FCL by the authorities concerned,” he added.
Responding to a query, he said that PIFFA organises seminars, short courses and training programmes for its members, so that they could be able to update themselves with the latest developments being carried out in the industry at world level.
He further informed Customs Today that PIFFA has implemented FIATA modules and the Association has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bahria University in this regard, which is definitely a step forward for the future progress of PIFFA and its members.
“Through this FIATA training course, PIFFA provides a guaranteed opportunity to the individuals who will successfully accomplish the said course to work with PIFFA”, he asserted.
Commenting on the issues with FIA, Paracha said that the Pakistan International Freight Forwarders Association is organising seminars at regular intervals for its members in order to prepare them for the queries that would be asked by the intelligence services.
“The PIFFA members through these seminars are given awareness about the queries, they could be asked by FIA, ANF and other intelligence agencies”, he added.
Paracha further said that PIFFA is also conducting free of cost short courses in Ship Chartering and Bill of Lading for the members, adding that the Association is trying its best to create awareness among the members through such courses.
The PIFFA chairman urged the authorities concerned to remain Customs Houses and other related offices open on Saturdays for getting desirable economic growth.
“The recent economic growth of the country is at 3 per cent to 4 per cent and if we want to take this percentage at par with developed countries like China and Japan, the revenue collection departments would have to work tirelessly,” he concluded.