KARACHI - Federal Ports and Shipping Minister Babar Khan Ghauri has said that port charges will be reduced after the receipt of recommendations from the Ministry of Ports and Shipping within 30 days. As per Federal Budget 2009-10, 16 percent more service charges will be levied on Ports. However, the effort of the Ministry is to get these charges waived after talks with the government. He was addressing a press conference after reviewing the performance of ports at KPT Head Office here on Friday. Port Qasim Chairman Vice Admiral (r) Asad Qureshi and KPT Chairperson Nasreen Haque besides other senior officials were also present on the occasion. Babar Ghauri said that cargo handling at Karachi Port has increased from 37.5 million tons to 38.5 million tons while efforts are being made for transit cargo at Gwadar Port. He said that efforts are being made to link Gwadar Port with road and train. He said that NHA has promised to connect Gwadar with other parts of the country with road by 2011. However, he was of the view that objective of Gwadar port had not been achieved as yet. The minister said that two new Oil Tankers would be included in the PNSC fleet while talks are being held for inclusion of more ships in the PNSC fleet. He informed that work on deepwater container terminal at KPT is fast going on. He said that work on other held up projects including Port Tower has restarted. He said that work on Liquid Cargo Terminal at Port Qasim would start soon at a cost of 2 billion dollars while 30 percent work on container terminal being constructed at a cost of 300 million dollars has been completed. He said that for Great Fertiliser Terminal, work on dredging up to 40 metres at PQ is in progress. Babar Ghauri said that development work at Industrial area is going on at a cost of Rs 1.8 million for industrial development in the Eastern Zone. He called for expediting work on development projects of three ports. A total of 4 billion dollar investment has been made in ports and shipping sector in this age of global recession which is incredible, while projects with some Rs 2 billion initiated at KPT, he said, adding that however we use land banks to cover our expenses. To a question, he said that no body is on ad hoc basis at Port Qasim and Rs 800 million allocation for ports and shipping is ample to manage with.