ISLAMABAD: As the first vessel carrying wheat is expected to dock at Karachi port on August 21, followed by others with a gap of a week, port authorities have offered priority berthing, storage spacing and to waive off some essential charges.

The management of Karachi Port Trust made the offer to Secretary National Food Security and Research, Omer Hamid Khan, considering wheat as an essential commodity and to help keep its prices affordable.

The federal secretary, who was on an urgent visit to Karachi on Thursday, had a detailed meeting with the chairman and senior management of KPT followed by visit to the port to see the handling of wheat import vessels.

Mr Khan also met with the Director-General and senior officials of Department of Plant Protection (DPP) regarding phyto-sanitary inspections, in addition to a session with the leading wheat importers to address their concerns. He advised all concerned authorities and importers to foresee the whole chain of wheat import in mind and make arrangements through coordinated efforts to ensure timely availability of the crop in the country.

Khan was briefed that the DPP has issued mandatory import permits in time to all potential importers and the department has already done necessary homework to timely issue Plant Protection Release Orders to wheat import consignments.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2020

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