India’s shipping industry set for transformation led by key initiatives

Inland waterways, online approvals and infrastructure development are likely to be the pillars of government Shipping Policy in 2015

Sachin Manawaria | The Dollar Business Indias shipping industry set for transformation led by key initiatives As per the national policy, Indian Ports are aiming at a surplus capacity of above 25% over the projected demand by 2020 to achieve zero-waiting time for the vessels. Helped by increased investment in the sector and economic growth of India, the capacity at the 13 major ports is expected to increase to around 1,459.5 million tonnes by 2020, which is about two times the current capacity. Meanwhile, the capacity at non-major ports is expected to grow faster to around 1,660 million tonnes, up about seven times from the current levels of around 350 million tonnes. The Ministry of Shipping is targeting investment of Rs. 2.77 lakh crore between 2010 and 2020 and has taken several new initiatives last year to help Ports grow. In October, 2014, the government launched shipping services between India and Myanmar to boost the bilateral trade between the two countries. The new shipping line between India and Myanmar is expected to reduce transit time and also enhance India’s connectivity with other Southeast Asian countries under the government’s “Look East” policy. The government has also operationalised e-payment facility for all ship licensing services. The Ministry has also begun work on establishing a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and announced the Sagarmala Project to facilitate port-led development in hinterland. Among other initiatives taken last year are the one time General Trade license for Indian Ships and an Integrated National Water Transportation Grid. The Ministry says that over 4,500 km of national waterways will be developed with connectivity with roads and railway network under the grid which will help divert almost 160 million tonnes of cargo from road and rail to inland waterways. In order to attract investment into the sector, the government allows 100% FDI under the automatic route for port development projects.  

 This article was published on January 5, 2015.