Government aims to increase share of water transport to 15% by 2019 – Gadkari
Major thrust being laid on promoting coastal shipping and inland waterways
Union Minister for Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari has said that development of coastal shipping and inland waterways is a priority area of the NDA government. Addressing the ASSOCHAM Conference on Coastal Shipping and Inland Waterways in Mumbai today, Shri Gadkari said the passenger and cargo traffic share in the country would be increased at least up to 15% by 2019. Presently the share of passenger and cargo traffic is only 3% -5% as against the average of 30%- 40% in countries like China, South Korea, United Kingdom, Germany, France etc.
The Minister said that development of waterways would reduce the logistic cost enabling India to compete in the global market. “Coastal Shipping and Inland Water Transport is a fuel efficient, environment friendly and cost effective mode, especially for bulk goods. While road transportation cost per km is Rs.1.50 and for railways it is Re1, for waterways it will come down to 25 to 30 paise” he added.
Shri Gadkari informed that the Ministry of Shipping has prepared a vision document on coastal shipping, tourism and regional development with the objective of increasing the share of inland water transport and coastal shipping, development of regional centres to generate cargo for coastal traffic and promotion of cruise tourism. To encourage transportation of goods through coastal shipping, the Government has brought the service tax levy on par with road and rail transport. The Government has also relaxed cabotage for specialized vessels like Ro-Ro, Hybrid Ro-Ro, Car carriers, Truck carriers etc. for a period of 5 years.
Shri Gadkari said several initiatives were being taken by his Ministry to promote shipping and said “my ministry is aiming at addition of 2% to GDP and create 50 lakh employment opportunities”. He said the Ministry has taken steps for modernization, mechanization and computerization to promote transparency and stressed that the NDA government has zero tolerance for corruption.
Shri Gadkari also informed that the government has decided to build three more major ports at Wadhwan near Dahanu in Maharashtra, Colachel Port near Kanyakumari and the Sagar Island Port in West Bengal. The Wadhwan Port will built as a joint venture port between JNPT and Maharashtra Maritime Board, and is intended to decongest the over burdened JNPT Port at Nhava Sheva.
The ASSOCHAM Conference deliberated on various issues related to coastal shipping and inland waterways. Addlitional Secretary in the Ministry Shipping, Shri Gautam Chatterjee, DG Shipping Deepak Shetty, Sunil Kanoria, President, ASSOCHAM were prominent among those present.
PIB Mum | NS/ BG (MD)
PIB Photo / SLP