13-03-2016

Maritime sector to create 1 cr jobs in 5 yrs: Gadkari

Mr.NitinGadkari.jpg

The shipping and ports sector is poised to generate 1 crore jobs in 5 years as the government is committed to according it high priority, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today said.

Projects worth 1.2 lakh crore have already been lined up for the Maritime India summit next month with a likely participation by 57 nations, he said.

"India offers immense investment opportunities in the maritime sector. Prime MinisterNarendra Modi has said growth of ports is instrumental in development of a nation. Unfortunately our maritime sector occupies the last place in globe but government has accorded top most priority to develop it," the Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Gadkari said.

"This sector will create 40 lakh direct and 60 lakh indirect employment in next five years," he said at the media launch of upcoming Maritime India Summit scheduled from April 14 to 16 in Mumbai.

Gadkari said manufacturing sector contributes 20-24 per cent to Indias GDP but its growth has been hindered by high logistics cost.

"We are set to address the issue by promoting water transport as logistics cost is 18 per cent in India as compared to barely 8-10 per cent in China and 10-12 per cent in European countries. Sending material to London from Mumbai is easy and less expensive as compared to dispatching it to Delhi," he said.

The governments top priority is to develop waterways and ports to reduce the high logistics cost as while it costs Rs 1.5 a km to carry the cargo from road, the same stands at rupee one from rail while through waterways it reduces to only 25 paise a km, he said.

The minister said maritime holds immense potential as India with its long coastline of 7,517 km and inland waterways of 14,500 km had vast untapped opportunities.

"We have already identified projects worth Rs 1.2 lakh crore for maritime investment summit," the minister said.

Besides government has lined up huge projects under its Sagarmala initiative for port-led development of the country.

Gadkari said government has identified over 150 projects under its ambitious Sagarmala initiative. The government earlier has said that these 150 projects will mobilise more than Rs 4 lakh crore investment

The Minister said three new major ports were also on the anvil at a cost of Rs 21,500 crore that include a greenfield port in Maharashtra with an investment of Rs 10,000 crore, another in Tamil Nadu with an expenditure of Rs 7,000 crore and one in West Bengal at an estimated cost of Rs 4,500 crore under PPP mode.

Providing details of port augmentation projects, Gadkari said work has already been started on 27 projects worth Rs 12,700 crore to add a capacity of 116 million tonne per annum.

Source: PTI

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