The government has decided to set up two new shipyards at Gwadar and Port Qasim with investments from Japanese and Korean firms on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has asked the ministry of defence production to move a formal summary to the prime minister for approval and the ministry of finance would strongly support the proposal.
A senior government official said the finance minister was astonished to know that the proposal for new shipyards with zero investment from the government was floated by a number of Japanese and Korean firms and a formal summary was also submitted to the government in 2008 but no action had been taken in this regard.
He said the case was originally submitted to the government in 2008 following a group of renowned shipyard operators in Japan and Korea conducted a feasibility study and offered to finance the shipyards.
Under the proposal, the consortium had asked the government to be equity partner in the shipyards by providing shores, land and infrastructure and the rest would be taken care of by the investors.
It was decided to start first with the Gwadar port followed by Port Qasim
Currently, Pakistan has only one shipyard at Karachi port but that too is sometimes unable to provide services to shipping industry because of congestion and comparatively away from international shipping routes.