Ministry working on policy to promote coastal shipping: Vasan

Chennai, Feb 4 (PTI) The government today said that it isworking on a new policy to promote coastal shipping in thecountry.

"We have also brought out a new land policy and a policyto prevent monopoly in ports. The Ministry is also working ona new policy to promote coastal shipping," Shipping Minister GK Vasan said after inaugurating the Conclave on Shipping andPorts, organised by CII here.

"We have formulated a package to promote Indian shipbuilding, which will be taken to Cabinet very soon," he said.

On future plans, he said the Ministry has set a target ofincreasing the port capacity four-fold to 3,200 milliontonnes in the next 10 years.

"We have released the Maritime Agenda, 2020 which is avision document for the next 10 years. We have set someimportant goals...It includes, increasing port capacity toaround 3,200 million tonnes which will require an investmentof about Rs 3 lakh crore," he said.

"To achieve these goals, the government will need thefull co-operation of all stakeholders particularly from theprivate sector. Bulk of the resources needed to achieve thecapacity targets is expected to come through PPP(Public-Private Partnership mode)," he said.

Stating that the Port and Shipping sector witnessed anunprecedented growth of 23.8 per cent on its exports from2004-05 to 2008-09, he said in 2009-2010 it was not the samedue to the impact of global recession.

The Minister also said the government would address theissues pertinent to the shipping industry and was "open" tonew ideas and suggestions to further strengthen thepartnership with the private sector to realise the truepotential of the maritime sector.

He said for developing the Colachel Port in Kanyakumari,the Shipping Ministry would provide all support. "The ColachelPort has its own natural beauty...for developing it, theShipping Ministry would provide all its support," he said.

Meanwhile, in the national capital a Shipping Ministryofficial said in order to ease India''s marine traffic, theMinistry is mulling setting up a new port in Andhra Pradesh,and is awaiting the state government''s response regarding thesame.

"We have a proposal from the Andhra Pradesh governmentfor setting up one more port location in the state, we aremeeting the state government officials...once their responsecomes we can go forward." the official said.

India has 13 state-owned ports -- Kolkata (with Haldia),Paradip, Visakhapatanam, Ennore, Chennai , Tuticorin, Cochin ,New Mangalore, Mormugao, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust,Port Blair and Kandla.

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