Exploiting the water route
An agreement over setting up Inland Water Transport Authority (IWTA) has been announced by Syed Naveed Qamar, Federal Minister for Water and Power. The creation of IWTA has been termed imperative by the Minister, as the body is planned to facilitate water transport which is much cheaper than road or rail and will lead to reduced prices and cost of production and creation of more jobs.
Efficient steps have been taken to speed up the implementation phase of the project. Directions have been issued for the formulation of draft legislation for approval from the Council of Common Interests. Naveed Qamar has also approved the installation of a pilot project on the Indus River, including the efforts of Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and Pakistan Navy in this regard. Currently, almost 96 percent of Pakistan’s freight is carried by road and less than 3 percent by rail causing high costs and production imbalances. Establishment of ITWA will offer cost-effective trade opportunities