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Ministry of Shipping contributing towards achieving $5 trillion economy target: Minister

The Ministry of Shipping is striving hard towards making its contribution in achieving the target of $ 5 trillion economy set by the government. In this regard, 58 projects involving a cost of Rs 49,950 crore have been identified as part of National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) for infrastructure augmentation and development at Major Ports up to FY 2025.

A three-day ‘Chintan Baithak’ was held from February 28 to March 1, 2020 at Mahabalipuram.  Here, detailed deliberations on various matters relating to improving the performance of the Major Ports, strengthening of the ports to directly compete with private or non-major ports, port modernisation, implementing e-governance to make the ports faceless and paperless, developing India as a transhipment hub, and Vision 2030 for the maritime sector were held.

In order to increase tonnage capacity of the Indian shipping industry, the government has taken a number of steps.  These include (i) Providing Indian shipping industry cargo support through Right of First Refusal; (ii) Reducing GST from 18% to 5% on bunker fuel used in Indian flag vessels; (iii) Allowing carriage of coastal cargo from one Indian port to another Indian port via foreign ports in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh; (iv) Removing licensing requirement for chartering of foreign registered ships  by citizens of India, companies incorporated in India and Registered Societies to encourage coastal movement of agriculture and other commodities, fertiliser, ex-im transshipment containers and empty containers; (v) Bringing parity in the tax regime of Indian seafarers employed on Indian flag ships vis-a-vis those on foreign flag ships; (vi) Allowing shipping enterprises based in India to acquire ships abroad and flag them in the country of their convenience (vii); and Allowing use of imported containers for carrying of domestic cargo and allowing use of locally manufactured or domesticated containers conforming to the specifications from the ISO for transportation of ex-im cargo.

In the past four-five years, the government has given a strong push to port modernisation, mechanisation and digitalisation, with a number of ease of doing business initiatives. The revamped port community system (PCS), PCS1x, is expected to connect and provide real-time information to stakeholders on a single platform. Other key measures for port modernisation include the introduction of web-based e-forms, direct port delivery and direct port entry, installation of container scanners and radio frequency identification-based systems for gate automation, digitalisation of land records, and launch of a single-window interface for facilitating trade.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Shipping (Independent Charge), Mr Mansukh Mandaviya, in Parliament last week, said a release.


Source: Exim News Service: New Delhi, March 22


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