Here is a brief of the proceedings:-
India is bound by a coastline of 7500 kms with 30 per cent of the population residing in coastal towns and villages. Shipping industry thus constitutes one of the foremost industries in Indian economy . India’s fleet strength of 1313 ships represents a three –fold increase since 1990, with a ranking of 18 in the world. Over 95 per cent of India’s trade by volume and 68 per cent of trade in terms of value is transported by sea. Nearly two – third of the fleet in India is engaged in coastal shipping and yet the share of coastal shipping in domestic cargo movement is only 7 per cent. Efforts are being made to increase this share to 10 per cent in the next three years. The Government has launched the Sagarmala Project which is expected to integrate coastal trade and provide a fillip to coastal shipping. These observations were made by Dr. Malini Shankar, IAS, Director General of Shipping, Government of India while addressing the Round Table.
The Government of India and the Directorate General Shipping bearing in mind the potential and significance of shipping industry to Indian trade and economic development have taken several initiatives for the development of the shipping industry and promoting ease of doing business. Besides ship building subsidy and the Indian – Controlled Tonnage Scheme, The Merchant Shipping Act is being revamped, Dr. Shankar said. The maritime supply chain is a long and complex activity. Increased transparency along the chain will enhance the trust and reliability of international trade, Dr. Shankar opined. Dr. Shankar called for proactive involvement of all stakeholders for the healthy development of the shipping industry and to accelerate the pace of economic growth.
The growth of tourism and hospitality industry in the country has opened up plethora of opportunities for coastal shipping and Goa is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities in this sector . Dr Shankar also emphasized the need to focus on protecting the marine environment and concentrate on mitigating the risk of pollution and waste disposal.
According to Capt. James Braganza, Captain of Ports Department, Government of Goa, the major operation is the export of iron ore and the Department handled 260250 MT of iron ore in 2015-16.
The Department is in the process of starting a ferry operation from Zuari to Mandovi. Dredging is the primary concern at specific locations mainly in the Zuari and Mandovi rivers affecting the agricultural land. An embankment connecting all rivers from the sea bed side is being planned. The Department has also adopted the Chapora Development Project to convert the village along the Chapora river as an eco friendly tourist destination, Capt. Braganza said.
RAdm Shekhar Mital N M ( Retd.), Chairman and Managing Director, Goa Shipyard Ltd. expressed the company is presently concentrating on the defence ship building since the merchant ship building sector is not doing too well. Goa Shipyard is planning to construct two missile frigates with Russian collaboration and the project is expected to start in the next two to three years. While the Government has exempted excise and customs duty on bunksanoer fuels used in Indian vessels, the ship building industry could be revived with proper financial assistance from the Government, RAdm Mital expressed.
Mr. Atul V. Jadhav, Managing Director, New Era Shipping Pvt Ltd lamented that the barge industry in the country is suffering. Mr. Jadhav called for the proper demarcation of the inland waters of the country and mentioned that inland vessels need to come out and operate on the coast. The inland vessels need to be spruced up and utilized for maritime states. Mr. Jadhav called for a dedicated organization for funding the construction and maintenance of ships. Nine jetties have been approved for Goa. The major cost of operating the vessels is fuel and Mr. Jadhav suggested that excise and VAT on fuel may be removed. Mr. Jadhav also sought subsidy for transportation of fertilizer by sea.
Mr. Sandeep Sood, Managing Director, Express Machines & Scaffolding Pvt. Ltd. emphasized on the need to improve and integrate infrastructure in the state and suggested that Goa could be transformed as a logistics hub for domestic and international cargo to serve the hinterland. Mr. Sood proposed the creation of small logistics parks close to the industrial areas where warehousing facilities are available.
Mr. Anthony Gaskell, Director, Sentras Shipping Pvt. Ltd. called for a holistic, end to end approach for the logistic chain while ensuring proper coordination between various stakeholders in the chain. Mr Gaskell emphasized on the need for consistency and transparency in the regulatory framework and sought reduction of regulatory controls. Customs procedures must be implemented more efficiently, he said.
Earlier, in her welcome address, Ms Rupa Naik, Director – Projects, World Trade Centre Mumbai highlighted the importance of the Shipping and logistics industry as a key pivot of international trade and a significant contributor to economic growth and development.
Mr. Cyril DeSouza, Assist. Director, Trade Promotion, World Trade Centre Goa, proposed the vote of thanks.