KARACHI - The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) continues to bear huge financial losses in terms of transportation of wheat and urea from Gwadar Port. The Nation has learnt that TCP is still busy using Gwadar Port for the chanellization of bulk cargo of urea and wheat against the set limit of 2.5 million under the Prime Ministers directive. PMs directive No 2206 dated 14th July, 2008 stated that 1/3rd of the entire imports of 2.5m MT must be chanellized through Gwadar Port, but the total cargo, urea and wheat both, TCP chanellized though Gwadar is 2.368m MT. Moreover, due to unavailability of Hinterland connectivity the federal government has so far paid a subsidy to the tune of Rs 5.21b for transportation of the said cargo from Gwadar Port to other parts of the country at the rate of Rs 2200 per metric ton. Such huge losses that are being borne both by government and TCP just to make the Gwadar Port operational have turned into permanent suffering for the masses who have to buy wheat and urea on unbearable rates, the experts said. It has also been learnt that the TCP has to pay Rs 110,000 as extra cost on the off setting of every 50 thousand Metric Ton bulk cargo at Gwadar Port, while it has so far given more than Rs 5 billion since March 2008 in this regard. Though the connectivity via Coastal Highway is available, which was used during and for the construction of Gwadar Port, now handled more than 69 thousand trucks carrying wheat and Urea weighing from 20 to 85 tons each. The part of responsibility of this unavailability of hinterland connectivity also goes on Port of Singapore Authority that has not fulfilled its promises to develop connectivity. Chairman TCP Saeed Khan when contacted confirmed that the chanellization particularly of Urea is still to be done through Gwadar and they do not have any directions from the government to stop this. The former Chairman TCP Muhammad Saeed had also written a letter to the Secretary Commerce Syed Asif Shah suggesting the review of the decision of importing wheat and urea through Gwadar Port due to the extra inland transportation charges. The Purchase and Price Evaluation Committee while referring to particular tenders said the quantity of 166,000 tons of cargo should not be imported due to higher handling and transportation cost at Gwadar, and should preferably be routed to Karachi. According to the sources, the very first ship berthed at Gwadar Port cost TCP Rs 50 million additional in terms of transportation of the cargo to the other parts of the country. According to a rough estimate, TCP bears Rs 3800 per MT as transportation cost from Gwadar to Pepri godowns against the same at Rs 300 per MT from Port Qasim. Another issue with the Gwadar Port is that it can not accommodate the ships of more than 50,000 DWT, and once when a ship of 75000DWT came to Gwadar it became panic for the port authorities to be off loaded and that also increased the cost for TCP. TCP officials while justifying this chanellization of wheat and urea from Gwadar said that KPTS influential labour do not work professionally. And Port Qasim has 3 to 4 berths that are operational, while it does not have proper accommodation. Like the shortage of Urea occurs normally in November-December so the TCP should issue tenders for Urea import in the month of September, or earlier, to cover the shortage as it takes 2 to 3 months to complete the process, they added. It is pertinent to mention that the total cargo handled at the Gwadar Port is of Trade Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), including 1, 409, 498 MT of urea since December 2008 and 958, 717 MT of wheat since March 2008.