KARACHI - The appointment of a retired brigadier as Chairman Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) on day-to-day basis has created sheer insecurity among the subscribers to PNSC, The Nation has learnt. The business community feared that this non-technical appointment of the state owned shipping line will hamper the current pace of the corporation. While talking to The Nation they said that the former chairman left PNSC in green books but now the new appointment of a non-technical chairman has increased their dissatisfaction over the future of the corporation. 'This is a specialised field and it requires a chairman from maritime community, so the proper planning has to be done at the very early stage before taking any such sort of decision, said a subscriber on the conditions of anonymity. 'It is very ironic that a democratic government has placed a retired army man on such a key post, and it seems as if they have no technical person available to steer this vital corporation that is already facing troubles, he added. The businessmen said that they have no idea how to comprehend this decision, and it is an utter failure of the institutions by just making them de-functional through non-merit appointments. The mentioning of the appointment of Admiral Javed Ali on the same pattern in the period of Admiral Mansssor-ul-Haq would not be out of place here when he stayed for more than 2 years as Chairman PNSC while he was hired on day-to-day basis. It is interesting to note that PNSC by 2010 will be left with 7 vessels, 6 being over 30 years old, ready for demolition too, and there was a time, prior to nationalisation, that ship-owners had a total of 79 ships under Pakistans flag. Now Pakistan is 100 percent dependent on foreign flag vessels for containerised and bulk cargo, with the exception of 8-10 million tons crude oil being lifted by public sector Pak flag ships, and since two more tankers are set to be scrapped by 2010, due to CAS of the IMO convention, the countrys share in crude lifting will also be carried out by chartered foreign-flag tankers. So Pakistan will virtually be left with minimal, or no, market share in the countrys overseas trade, moreover commerce and trade will be almost 100 percent dependent on foreign-flag ships and their dictates, thus harming our export/import both, making it un-competitive in the world market, they added. They lamented that the Ministry concerned is in deep slumber, having no expertise of maritime nor any future plans, and why the Commerce Ministry and the Chambers of Commerce do not take up this important issue with the Government and Planning Commission to provide ship owing a loan assistance scheme for fleet expansion, as practiced in India. 'Indian ship owners were enjoying 14 percent market share in overseas trade in 2007/2008, but the same has now plunged to 9.5 percent due to recession and economic growth of 6 percent from 9 percent in the preceding year, they added. They gave an example that the Indian Government has plans to award a contract this year, worth some $4.25 billion on 14 projects to be completed within four years, and if we are not to copy India we must look on the blueprints of Bangladesh that has emerged as a shipbuilding nation. Bangladesh has emerged on the map of shipbuilding nations and it has been producing ships even in this period of recession, but on the other hand Karachi shipyard stands nowhere and attending the captive business of the Pak Navy only. They demanded the government of consistency in policy vision 2020 and placement of people on merit and they should heed on the best features of best regional polices to address Pakistani shipping industrys needs.