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Master Plan done for 12 major ports, says Shipping Ministry

58 projects approved under Sagarmala Programme.

The India Register of Shipping – leading in classification of vessels.

A Master Plan has been formulated for 12 major ports which includes 142 port capacity expansions, costing Rs.91,434 crore, and 884  million ton per annum of capacity creation over the next 20 years.

Fifty-eight of these projects, costing approximately Rs.28,767 crore,  have been approved, under the country’s Sagarmala Programme, Minister of State for Shipping Pon. Radhakrishnan said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on 10 August 2017.

An international benchmarking study of 2015 recommended 116 initiatives to enhance efficiency and productivity at major ports. Eighty-five of these initiatives have already been implemented.

The government has taken various steps  to strengthen the shipping and ports sector. These include:

i) Exemption of Customs and Excise Duty leviable on bunker fuels used in Indian flag vessels for transportation of mix of EXIM, domestic and empty containers between two or more ports in India.

ii) Abatement of service tax of 70% for transportation of goods by Coastal shipping and Inland Waterways transportation.

iii) On April 13, 2016, the Ministry of Finance notified inclusion of stand-alone shipyards undertaking activities such as shipbuilding and ship-repair in the Harmonized List of Infrastructure sectors.

iv) To promote manufacture of sea-going vessels by Indian shipyards, Shipbuilding Financial Assistance Policy was approved for contracts signed during a 10 year period, viz. 2016-2026.

v) Customs and Central Excise duty exemption on inputs used in manufacture of ships to provide a level playing field between indigenously built ships vis-à-vis imported ships.

vi) Shipping enterprises based in India have been permitted to acquire ships abroad and also flag them in the country of their convenience.  This policy initiative of “Indian Controlled Tonnage (ICT)” has facilitated Indian ship-owners to gain access to cheaper funds abroad and also save on costs of setting up subsidiaries abroad to acquire and maintain such tonnage.

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