Rebuttal to express tribune story date 10-08-2023

The Karachi Port Trust has termed the story titled “Pakistan Greenlights ‘below par’ UAE seaport deal” published in English Daily Express Tribune dated 10 August, 2023 as misleading and factually incorrect.

The Cabinet committee on Inter-Governmental Commercial Transactions (CCoIGCT) has never described the proposed recommendations of the Negotiation Committee submitted to CCoIGCT on 7 Aug, 2023 as “below par.”

KPT further clarified that as a result of persuasive negotiations, the offer of AD Ports was massively revised upward.

The revised offer includes provision of non-refundable, non-adjustable upfront payment of USD $25 million as goodwill. Further, upfront advance payment of USD $25 million to the KPT was also included against future revenue sharing. The period of agreement was set as 25 years. In the previous proposal KPT was required to share 50% of the wages and other charges of Karachi Dock Labour Board (KDLB). The new offer agreed that all KDLB charges would be paid by AD Ports.

The intervention of CCoIGCT improved the previous negotiated amounts and terms and conditions substantially. The revision indicates huge value addition to the proposed transactions achieved due to intervention of CCoIGCT.

The newspaper claims of handling over of “two more seaport terminals” to UAE’s AD Port is also misconceived and factually incorrect. The proposed commercial agreement envisages outsourcing of Bulk cargo handling rights at Berth Nos. 11 to 17 East Wharf, Karachi. At present cargo handling operation at these berths are outsourced to stevedores.

The outsourcing to a foreign operator is aimed to develop the asset and induct automation to bring efficiency and enhance and thus reduce the cost of doing business.