PR No. 229 Islamabad

Ministry of Commerce will fund and support the establishment of dry port at Sargodha to facilitate the export of fruits and minerals produced in the region directly to other countries. This was decided in the 71st meeting of the Board of Administrators of the Export Development Fund held under the chairmanship of Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan.

The Board authorized to conduct a business and technical feasibility study of the proposed dry port for detailed designing and cost estimation of the dry port project from a well-reputed consultant.

The details presented in the Board meeting tell that citrus is major exportable item of the region and there are about 250 kinnow processing units operating in the region. All the export consignments of the region have to be cleared at Karachi due to the unavailability of the dry port in the area. The construction of dry port will greatly facilitate the export process as all the consignments will be cleared and sealed at the dry port and dispatched to the destination country without having to bother for clearance at the sea-port. This will provide great convenience to the exporters, save considerable amount of time and encourage the exporters to export more.

The dry port will also facilitate the exporters of minerals such as gypsum, rock salt and iron ore which are found in the adjoining area. This will also bring extra premium to the artisans associated with the cottage industry of wooden handicrafts which are exported to China, Malaysia and Italy. The Minister for Commerce added that one of the reasons that SMEs to stay away from exporting their products is due to the cumbersome procedures involved in the exporting. The dry port will provide them all the clearance facilities at their door-step thus resulting in an attractive incentive to export their products, he added.

The Board approved the establishment of a fruit packaging and processing plant in Quetta. The plant will provide modern value-addition facilities which would help thousands of fruit farmers of Baluchistan to get extra value of the produce. This will help the farmers to export their fruits to western countries.

The Board also approved a project for the expansion of Effluent Treatment Plant established in Korangi, Karachi which produces electricity using the bio gas produced in the tanneries. Availability of bio gas generators save 70% of the energy already supplied through the grid. Technical experts noted that this plant will cut the operational cost and reduce the methane gas emission in the air considerably.