Maritime India Summit 2016 was inaugurated yesterday by the honourable prime minister Shri. Narendra Modi at BCEC, Mumbai. This is the first time when a global event of such a large scale is being organised by Govt. of India. The maritime industry has never received such importance and attention from the Government of India. “ It is my government’s endeavour to revive and restore India’s position of eminence in the global maritime sector” says prime minister Mr. Narendra Modi. The significance of this summit can be gauged from PM Modi’s assurance to investors “Once you are here , I assure you that I will personally hold your hands to see that your project is safe & secure”. PM Modi paid respects to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and said that Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar is also the architect of the water and river policy in India. April 14, 2016 marks 125th birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.
The summit has received participation of nearly 4,000 dignitaries, government officials and delegates and from more than 40 countries. The main highlights of prime minister’s address:
- With GDP growth of more than 7.5 %, India is the fastest growing economy in the world
- Ecology and economy go hand in hand
- In the very early days of our government Sagarmala Project was announced. The focus is on port led development energising the coastal economy and infrastructure development in this area. The government wants to modernise ports and integrate them with special economic zones, port based smart cities, industrial parks, warehouses, logistics parks, cold storages and transport corridors
- Vast coastlines of more than 7,500 Km offers huge investment opportunities
- To enable the growth of ports and related sectors the government has carried out several reforms and taken a number of initiatives
- Shipyards are being given infrastructure status at par with ports
- Rebate of service tax on coastal shipping have been increased to 70%. Government has granted custom duty and central excise exemption on imports used in shipbuilding. The Government’s scheme of financial assistance to promote shipbuilding has been approved. Custom & Excise duty have been exempted on bunker fuel for Indian flag container ships. Tax issues of seafarers have been resolved.
- A new company by the name of Indian Port Rail Corporation has been established to focus on the last mile connectivity to ports
- Enacted a legislation for declaring 111 waterways as national waterways
- Governments efforts are showing results. FDI inflows have gone up by 44% since this government has taken over. The year 2015-16 has been the highest ever FDI inflow into India
- India’s highest ever quantity of cargo handled by major ports was in 2015. The port efficiency parameters have shown very good improvement, India’s fastest turnaround time was in 2015.
- During the last 2 years, our major ports have added 165 million tons capacity with record addition in each year. During 2015-16 the operating profits of the 12 major ports increased by 6.7 billion Rupees
- During 2015-16, Kandla port reached 100 million tons landmark and 20% improvement in efficiency. During the same period JNPT registered a net profit of 10 billion Rupees helped by a 12% increase in efficiency
- The governments vision is to increase the port capacity from 1,400 million tons to 3,000 million tons by 2025
- A special purpose vehicle by the name India Ports Global Ltd has been established to take up projects overseas
To conclude the prime minister said, “ I would like to say that this is the right time to come to India. It is even better time to come through the sea route. Once you are here , I assure you that I will personally hold your hands to see that your project is safe & secure”
Source: Capt. Virendra N Mishra / TST Newsdesk