Islamabad - A webinar was held by Maritime Study Forum (MSF) on “Evolution of Pakistan’s Shipping Policy: Policy of 2001, Amendments of 2019 - Prospects & Challenges.” 

The guests and participants in the session included prominent scholars from academia, media persons and policy makers. The webinar was held keeping in view the importance of the shipping policy in national economy, trade activities and its impacts on all other sectors. The webinar is also an effort to bring the focus of policy makers towards the important aspects of shipping industry and shipping policy which should not be left unattended in our national discourse.

This was an interactive session where the panellists including Commodore (R) Syed M Obaidullah SI (M), BOA MSF, Dr Aneel Salman, Member BOD, Maritime Study Forum, and Mr. Khurram Mirza, Executive Director PNSC answered the questions of the participants. Some very pertinent issues were raised during this session that led to an in depth view of the policy paralysis and policy accomplishments in the country. 

Commodore Obaidullah went back into the history and cited the hiccups of the shipping industry. He further elaborated the positive aspects of the shipping policy of 2001 whose aim was to attract the private shipping industry. He further talked about the incentives given in 2001 for the shipping industry but still it was not able to take optimum advantage out of it. 

Mr. Khurram Mirza, Executive Director PNSC, answering the questions of the participants further elaborated that the revisions of the shipping policy in 2019 augment the shipping policy of 2001. 

He stressed on operational capacity where PNSC wants to agitate two changes in the shipping policy, which is to include marine services under the ambit of shipping policy and to open foreign currency bank account.

Afterwards, Dr. Aneel Salman enlightened the audience with his analysis and expertise on policy making and policy implementation.

 He talked about why the shipping policy remained dormant and gave few reasons that included institutional frictions and the blockades, lack of inclusiveness and vision.

The session concluded with an emphasis to conduct such events more frequently in order to spread awareness about the maritime sector. Dr. Aneel Salman member BOD thanked the experts and participants and congratulated MSF for deciphering on such important issue.