KARACHI The Standing Committees of Senate and National Assembly on Ports and Shipping have reached Gwadar to discuss the role of Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) and its non-commitment to follow the business plan in accordance with a working paper submitted to the ministry related to the poor performance of PSA. It was learnt by TheNation that the Standing Committees of both the Senate and National Assembly held a meeting on Thursday evening at Gwadar to review the role of PSA and matters related to the land at Gwadar Port, while two joint sessions would be held in this regard under the respective chairpersons of both the Standing Committees Rana Mehmood-ul-Hasan and Mrs Gulshan Saeed. The sources informed that last month the working paper on the overall performance of Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) was submitted to Ministry of Ports and Shipping by Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) asking the failures/short comings on part of GPA and PSAI to be first hand discussed in detail between the Ministry and GPA. On the directives of the Ministry of Ports and Shipping, the working paper was submitted by GPA related to the performance of PSA, the sources informed. The paper suggested the Ministry to discuss the matters like failure in implementing of Concessions Agreement on part of PSAI; Failures in implementing of Concessions Agreement on part of GPA; Failures on part of PSA Gwadar for not observing Prudent Terminal Practices as advised/recommended by IMO/IAPH; Failures on part of PSAI for neglecting maintenance of port machinery/crafts etc. Moreover, PSAI to submit the details of USD$ 34.3 million invested; the Concession document may be renegotiated and amended; deadline to PSAI for non-compliance with Concession Agreement; and deadline for making the port operational not to exceed 4 months should also be discusses at length. The paper says the major bulk for non-compliance with the Agreement lies with PSAI for the above said reasons, whereas GPA has not complied for not providing land for Free Zone development. In addition connectivity with the hinterland and power supply is debatable for reasons that PSAI had surveyed the area very well prior bidding conference, but establishing of Free Zone should not be directly related to port operations for base cargo etc, there are several hundred sea ports around the world operating without Free Zones. However, road connectivity with the hinterland is not a major issue either as studying the proposed different routes provided by National Highway Authority will nullify the claim of PSAI, the paper added. Moreover, the main responsibility of the concession-holder is to operate, market, manage and maintain the Multi Purpose Terminal, and the Concession-holder was handed over the complete project ready in all respects for bringing in business. But no business of any type was brought in, so the Government was requested to persuade the concerned authorities for help, therefore, finally, the Trading Corporation of Pakistan chartered a ship POS GLORY (DWT 100,000 approximately) laden with 72,700 tonnes of wheat cargo, it was learnt. The paper disclosed that the charters were authorised by PSAI to load upto 14.0 meter draft this was part blunder committed by PSAI for allowing bigger size ship undermining the capacity strength of 50,000 DWT per berth. Resultantly, the ship had to be lighted to 12.5 meter by shifting cargo to another cargo ship, while the entire operation for waiting time, transferring of cargo had cost several hundred thousand US dollars. During the operations no potable water was available, canteen business was in shambles, port charges were on the high side and involvement of locals in business was minimal, the paper added. And on completion of POS GLORYs discharging, the port was again idle for several months. The port operations resumed on 20.12.2008 and ended on 14.01.10. A total of 1.49 million tons of urea and 0.9 million tonnes of wheat was discharged and dispatched for upcountry, but the port is again idle showing no sign of business activity on part of PSAI. The paper stated that the Concession Agreement signed with PSAI is very comprehensive document giving the concession-holder almost 100 per cent liberty to market, manage and run the port but they have failed to bring in any business to the port. As per details mentioned in the working paper that it was a long term agreement and three of the 4 bidders requested for extension of time for preparing comprehensive planning, but PSAI, being one of the participants, did not request for extension of time rather insisted for immediate negotiations. PSAI representatives including their consultant had visited the area several times prior bidding for port operators, they were well aware of the facilities available at the terminal and connectivity with the hinterland, the paper maintained.