Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Mr. Nitin Gadkari called it a historic day for India's maritime community as Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first Maritime India Summit 2016 (MIS 2016) in Mumbai. South Korea is partner country for MIS 2016.
At the event Mr. Gadkari informed the exteem audience that the government has launched an ambitious program called "Project Unnati" to modernise India's major ports.
He had during the press conference informed media that two sessions on 14th and 15th April have been planned for signing of over 120 business and concession agreements and EPC contracts. These are worth over Rs. 82 Thousand Crores (over US $ 12 Billion).
20 LOIs are being signed covering an investment of Rs. 8,260 Crores (US $ 1.3 Billion). An MOU with South Korea on Port Development and Operations is also proposed to be signed.
He also informed that major ports registered record profits of $650 Million in 2015-16. He added that, "The turnaround time in ports has reduced by 20% enabling customers to save over $200 Million (Rs.1300 Cr.)".
The turnaround time in ports has reduced by 20% enabling customers to save over $200 Million (Rs.1300 Cr.)— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) April 14, 2016
Mr. Gadkari also informed that, "In Jal Marg Vikas project we are investing over $600 Million to make Ganga navigable from Varanasi to Haldia covering a distance of 1620 Km'.
PM Modi at MIS 2016:
Prime Minister Narendrda Modi after inaugurating MIS 2016 welcomed esteemed audience and said that maritime transport can be the most extensive mode of transport. It is also the most eco-friendly mode of transport too.
He added that challenges of climate change have shown that even offshore human behaviour can change the ecology of glaciers and oceans.
Today on the 125th birth anniversary of Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Mr. Modi said that Dr. Ambedkar is also the architect of the water and river navigation policy in India. Mr. Modi threw light on contribution of Dr. Ambedkar in navigation policy by saying that, "Many of us may not know that Babasaheb created two powerful institutions related to water, navigation and power. The institutions were The Central Waterways, Irrigation and Navigation Commission and The Central Technical Power Board".
Dr Ambedkar emphasised importance of new waterways policy to lay the foundation for a regime of prosperity for millions of poor of India: PM— PMO India (@PMOIndia) April 14, 2016
PM boosted the confidence of those present by saying that With a GDP growth rate of more than seven percent, India is the fastest growing economy today and that his government has laid emphasis on building futuristic infrastructure. PM added that India particularly wanted to modernise its ports and integrate them with special economic zones. He added that long coastline of India along with diverse coastal regions and hard working coastal communities can become an engine of growth of India.
Want to modernize ports & integrate them with SEZs, Port based Smart Cities, Industrial Parks, Warehouses, Logistics Parks: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) April 14, 2016
He further added that India's maritime agenda will complement the ambitious infrastructure plan for the hinterland which is goiing on parallelly. PM also informed that his government's vision was to increase port capacity from 1400 million tonnes to 3000 million tonnes by 2025. He said that it was being done to benefit the common man and to provide employment to the youth.
It is my Government's endeavour to revive and restore India's position of eminence in the global maritime sector: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) April 14, 2016
PM Modi also informed that private ports have been growing at a very healthy pace and have nearly doubled their capacity in last five yers. PM also talked about glorious maritime history of India. He sais that India is on the path of shaping an even better maritime future.
PM concluded his speech by saying that, "The maritime sector not only creates and facilitates economic activities; it also connects countries and civilisations'.
The maritime sector not only creates and facilitates economic activities; it also connects countries and civilisations: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) April 14, 2016
Some quotes from PM Modi's speech:
"We have embarked on the development of National Waterways in keeping with Babasaheb's vision and foresight. Dr Ambedkar emphasised importance of new waterways policy to lay the foundation for a regime of prosperity for millions of poor of India."
"In the very early days of our Government, we announced the Sagarmala programme."
"It is my Government's endeavour to revive and restore India's position of eminence in the global maritime sector."
About MIS 2016:
A high level CEOs' Forum has been organized on the first day of the conference where 19 CEOs from abroad and 17 CEOs from India, all from maritime companies are expected to participate.
The event will have participation of delegates, CEOs and speakers from 41 countries in addition to India.
A large delegation led by its Minister of Oceans and Fisheries Mr. Kim Young-Suk and comprising of two Deputy Ministers, senior Government officials and representatives of 52 maritime sector companies is participating in the Summit.
Ministers from Mauritius, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Madagascar, Sudan and Maldives will also participate in the Summit.