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India: Booster shot for maritime sector: Govt plans to de-risk ports, enhance FDI

To bolster the shipping sector and encourage private participation, the Union government plans to dismantle inefficient and burdensome monopolies, encourage innovation through start-up culture and innovate businesses to de-risk the projects and enhance Foreign Direct Investment in ports.

The vision includes building new ports to cater to the trade requirements, develop India as a Transshipment Hub and bring at least two ports in the world’s top 10 rankings.

Setting up ‘National Port Authority of India’ for all Major Ports in lieu of Indian Ports Association on the lines of NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) & AAI (Airports Authority of India) for planning, projects development, recruitment policies, procurement etc, so that local port administration may focus on operation and maintenance of ports.

According to the draft Maritime Vision 2030, the Ministry of Shipping has set up 14 working groups for each of the thrust areas in the sector.

Each working group will come up with a detailed roadmap, milestones with timelines and accordingly identify the institutions responsible for achieving those milestones.

Global best practices and benchmarking should be incorporated while forming the roadmaps.

Strategic roadmap to be comprehensive based on deep analysis and it should be prepared through appropriate research methodology, research tool & research design. It says modernisation in the maritime sector should keep in mind the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and ‘Ease of Living’.

The government also intends to make maritime logistics highly cost-competitive by promoting port-led industrialization, Coastal Cargo development and make Indian ports affordable and competitive for EXIM and Coastal Trade.

Many areas may be in the domain of state governments. Due thought may be given to the concerns of the states and policy prescription may be aligned to state policies to the extent possible.

A move that would provide fillip to the state infrastructure, the vision also includes operationalisation of Minor Ports — under/unused small ports — all over the country to make them function as domestic cargo terminals.

The Union government also intends to develop cruise destinations at tourism places of coastal states, increase the number of Indian cruise from 150 to 1000 in five years and effectively use coast and inland water for Cruise Tourism.

Promotion of River Cruise Tourism and Water Transportation, provide a smooth transportation network to local fish farming communities and use of PPP Model to develop various facilities like terminals, jetties, ferry services.

Final Maritime India – Vision 2030 document should be submitted in three months and it should also address the resource/talent constraints, capacity building, and Human Resource issues for achieving an action plan.
Source: Business Standard

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