EU team to inspect 200 modified boats: Minister

KARACHI - Sindh Minister for Fisheries Zahid Ali Bhurgari said that the inspection team of European Union EU would be invited for examination of the boats after achieving the targets of modification at least 200 boats. He said this during a meeting held at the Karachi Fish Harbour regarding review the progress of boat modification programme, said the official. According to the official, the meeting was held under the chairmanship of the minister, that attended by Aijaz Ahmed Mangi, Managing Director, Karachi Fisberies Harbour Authority (KFHA) Danish Saeed. Director Admin & Finance, KFHA, Waheed Ahmed, Director Operations, Anees Soomro Assistant Director, KFHA. Jafar Khawaja, Administrator. FC Abuzar Mariwala Advisor FC Arsala Khan, President Sindh Trawlers Owners & Fishermen Association (STOF), Sarwar Siddiqui; General Secretary, STOFA and others were also present on the occasion. The committee for boat modification informed the Minister that as many as 216 boats have been modified so far, including, 11 large size boats, 35 medium size boat and 170 small size boats. Meanwhile on this regard, the work process for more 12 large boats would be started shortly. On the occasion, the minister issued the directives to the concerned officials to accelerate the boats modification process, he added that the inspection team of EU would be invited for examination of the boats after achieving the targets of modification at least 200 boats, and they would be requested for lifting of ban on export of Pakistani seafood. Representatives of STOF expressed their reservations regarding initial payment of 25% cost of modification by boat owner. They suggested that initially the government should make payment from its 75% share. They also suggested that it should leave on boat owner to get boat modify from the boat modifier of his own choice. It may be mentioned here that as per approved plan, boats shall be modified on 75:25 sharing basis. The KFHA enlisted 15 boat modifiers, in this regard. It was decided in the meeting that boat owner would get estimate including cost and time frame from boat modifier and submit to the concerned committee. The Committee then inspects the boat to assess the given estimate. The KFHA shall issue a cheque of 50% payment within 3 days from government's 75% along with work order once recommended by the committee. During the modification." boat will not be allowed to go on a fishing trip. The boat owner shall submit KOLE registration certificate to the KFHA as a guarantee till completion of the boat. The boat modifier shall also give guarantee for the modification work.

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