Maritime Ministry earmarks Rs 19m for issuance of MRSID to seafarers

ISLAMABAD:The Ministry of Maritime Affairs has earmarked Rs 19 million for the issuance of Machine Readable Seafarer Identity Document (MRSID) for their easy entry and exits on the foreign vessels.

A dedicated and upgraded infrastructure would be set up in that regard with the assistance of National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), an official source in the Ministry told reporter on Friday.

The decision to this effect was taken due to high number of complaints by the sailors on the Ministry’s Complaint Cell that was being updated daily to learn about the seafarers issues and to address them in effective way, he added.

The Ministry, he said was aggressively pursuing the availability of “OK to Board” facility to Pakistani seafarers for employment on Foreign Vessels and in that regard the age limit of 60 years for employment on foreign vessels has also been discontinued.

The Ministry of Interior had been requested to allow an immigration facility to seafarers joining foreign vessels without No objection certificate (NOC) from the govt. shipping office, he said.

To provide maximum facilitation to Pakistani sailors, roster rules are being amended while the public dealing timings have also been enhanced from 0900 hours to 1500 hours (previously, it was till 1300 hours). These measures would not only bring positive changes in the working environment but would also serve the purpose of sustainable development and revamping of the departments, the official remarked.