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Ali Zaidi vows to purge maritime affairs ministry of corruption

KARACHI: Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi vowed on Saturday to purge his ministry of corrupt practices.

“Gone are the days when this ministry was used as a source of looting the people,” he said while addressing a gathering of the seafarer community here.

“I present myself for any sort of criticism and suggestions regarding my ministry and its departments,” he said, adding that for the first time in the ministry’s history, a minister is here to hear woes of the seafarers.

The minister briefed the audience about steps he is trying to take for the betterment of the seafarer community, including ease in grant of a visa in foreign countries, digitization of the shipping office, issuance of SID cards from Nadra offices from all over Pakistan, ease in Sign-on and Sign-off and introduction of Ok-To-Board in high demand countries.

He talked about complaints of malpractices in the shipping office and vowed to bring those responsible to book.

He shared his vision of making the Pakistan Marine Academy a Marine University, which was lauded by the audience.

Zaidi also shared the shipping policy with the audience, which includes a tax exemption for ships till 2030 that will help this industry grow, first berthing right to Pakistani flag carrier ships, first right to PNSC for energy imports and the declaration of shipping as a strategic industry.

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