Analysis of Economic survey of Pakistan showed in Pakistan transport has an indispensable role in economic activity. With no physical access to resources and markets, economic growth and development would not be possible. An effective transport system is, therefore, a fundamental element in enabling sustainable economic development as it assists in promoting the use of natural resources, mobility of labor force and increasing agricultural and industrial production. It is also noted that transport is also necessary for offering access to supply chains and basic public services like health and education. Removal of physical and non-physical barriers to effective transportation, therefore, has a direct impact on economic and social development of Pakistan. Besides its role in economic development, modern and effective transport infrastructure and services, enabling smooth flow of goods and services within and across international borders, is key for strengthening regional economic cooperation and integration. Analysis also showed that Pakistan is at a unique geo-strategic location, offering both challenges and opportunities. The opportunities can only be realized through exploring and developing the critical land, coastal and air routes that this location offers. The government of Pakistan can serve as the most effective, economical and viable transit route to the land locked Central Asia and other neighboring states. It is said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), with its roads and railways network, will integrate Pakistan with all regional countries and generate much needed economic activity. The Corridor will be a strategic game changer and would go a long way in strengthening our economy.
National Highway Authority (NHA)
NHA is committed to offer a safe, modern and efficient transportation system. The government of Pakistan is bisected into two halves by the River Indus. The eastern segment is historically well developed. To bring the western segment at par with the eastern one, NHA is enhancing east-west connectivity by construction of numerous bridges across river Indus also across the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej rivers. The eastern and western parts will be further augmented with major projects like Karachi-Lahore Motorway, Multan-Sukkur Motorway and Hakla-D.I.Khan Motorway under the China Pak Economic Corridor. It is also analyzed that the present NHA network comprises of 39 national highways, motorways, expressways and strategic roads. The length of this network is 12,131 km. NHA’s existing portfolio consists of 32 on-going projects with an allocation of Rs 88,954.855 million in PSDP 2020-21. Of this amount, Rs 10,750.00 million is FEC component and Rs 78,204.855 million is the local component. There are 24 new schemes in PSDP 2020-21 with a total estimated cost of Rs 520,077.996 million. In addition to these, one new scheme on BOT basis is also included in PSDP 2020-21 at an estimated cost of Rs 1,122.782 million.
Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC)
Analysis of Economic survey of Pakistan showed that PNSC Group has made significant progress in bulk and liquid cargo segments. Despite the pandemic, the Group has managed to attain a profit of Rs 1,235 million as against Rs 1,411 million in the same period previous year. The turnover stands at Rs 9,633 million compared to Rs 9,621 million for the previous year’s same period. Revenue of the tanker segment, counting foreign charters, increased by 7.12 percent from Rs 6,195 million to Rs 6,635 million. Slot chartering revenue increased by 19.64 percent from Rs 704 million to Rs 842 million. The increase in revenues reflects the growth in operational activity of the Group. The net profitability was, however, adversely affected because of fall in AFRA by 26 percent, reduction in gross margins of slot business by 11 percent and adverse movement of USD versus PKR which resulted in exchange losses of Rs 87 million in the period under review as against exchange gains of Rs 54 million in nine months period ended March 31, 2020. At present, PNSC fleet comprises of 11 vessels of various types/sizes with a total deadweight capacity of 831,711 metric tons, the highest ever carrying capacity since inception of PNSC.
Karachi Port Trust
Analysis also showed that Karachi Port Trust managed a total cargo and container volume of 39.424.155 million tonnes during July-March FY2021. It experienced 21 percent raise in total cargo and container handling over the last year. While export cargo and container volume was increased by 3 percent in FY2021, imports grew by 31 percent over the corresponding period last year.
Gwadar Port is located on the shores of the Arabian Sea in Balochistan. It is about 630 km away from Karachi and 120 km from the Iranian border. It is strategically placed at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, just adjacent to the Strait of Hormuz, the key shipping route in and out of the Persian Gulf. Gwadar Port is in the process of becoming the Gateway Port for Pakistan also for the region. It is the first Deep Sea Port of the country, complementing and supplementing the other two vibrant ports i.e Karachi Port and Port Qasim. Its development is critical to stimulate the economic growth of Balochistan in particular and Pakistan in general as it will provide an outlet for land-locked Central Asian Republics (CARs), Western China and Afghanistan.