"India’s shipping sector has more potential than the road sector"

A total of 141 agreements were signed by various players in the maritime sector at the Maritime India Summit

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | April 16, 2016 | Mumbai


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Nitin Gadkari, union minister for road transport & highways and shipping, at the Maritime India Summit, in Mumbai
Nitin Gadkari, union minister for road transport & highways and shipping, at the Maritime India Summit, in Mumbai

The first-ever Maritime India Summit attracted investments worth Rs 82,905 crore. A total of 141 MoUs and business agreements were signed by various players in maritime sector at the three-day event. Talking about the Sagarmala Port Project, home minister Rajnath Singh said that the project will not only redefine inland transportation but also revolutionise it. “It is certain that India will become an economic superpower. Nitin Gadkai (union minister for road transport and highways and shipping) has imagination, vision and conviction. Under his leadership, contribution of shipping industry to the GDP of the country will increase by 2-3 times in the next five years,” Singh said.

 
Nitin Gadkari said that the shipping sector has far more potential than the road sector but unfortunately it has remained neglected so far. “To become a leading country in the world we will have to develop our ports and shipping sector. For the first time in the history of India 12 of our major ports have seen a profit of Rs 4,200 crore,” he said.
 
The minister also said that the value of contracts signed will reach Rs 2,00,000 crore before May 26, when the government completes two years at the centre.
 
Talking about the achievements of the shipping sector, Gadkari said that Indian defence ministry’s contract of Rs 50,000 crore for the Cochin Shipyard and another order of Rs 25,000 crore ensured a huge inflow of money to the troubled shipping sector. 
 
Emphasising on the importance of housing in port area, Gadkari said that development of low cost residential areas near Sagarmala will be of equal importance to avoid proliferation of slums. “Forty coastal economic zones are being developed as part of port-led development. We have received Rs 8 lakh crore for port industrialisation in 27 clusters,” he said. 
 
“Inland waterways is an important project for the Indian government which can be a game changer and bring in socio- economic transformation. The Sagarmala project will reduce logistic cost from 18% to 10% and further down to 8%,” Gadkari added.
 
Many agreements covering activities like modernisation of existing ports and establishment of new ones, development and extension of inland waterways, enhancement of cargo handling capacity, etc, were also signed by major ports, state maritime boards and PSUs like Shipping Corporation of India, Cochin Shipyard Limited, and Inland Waterways Authority of India.
 

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