The World Trade Centre Goa, organised a Round Table Meeting on the subject, “Shipping Industry an Economic Enhancer for International Trade”, at Nalanda Hall, EDC House, Dr. Atmaram Borkar Road, Panaji on Friday, the 21st April, 2017 at 10 a. m.

The shipbuilding companies of the Group were represented at the round table by Mr. Vishram Gokhale, Senior Manager (Business Development) Modest Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd, and Mr. Praveen Borkar, Manager (Design & Planning), Dempo Shipbuilding & Engineering Pvt. Ltd.

Dr. Malini V. Shankar, IAS, Director General of Shipping, graced the occasion as Chief Guest.

The Round Table Meeting deliberated upon topical issues and challenges that the Shipping and Logistics industries were facing. The main aim of the meeting was to understand and showcase the nascent potential of this important vertical for the State of Goa.

The event was attended by the fraternity of the shipping and logistics industry, members of WTC Goa, logistics support providers like clearing and forwarding agents, and others who stood to benefit from the event.

Seen in the event picture from Left to Right are Chief Guest -Dr. Malini V. Shankar, IAS, Director General of Shipping, Mr. Anthony Gaskell, Director- Sentras Shipping Pvt. Ltd, Mr. Atul V. Jadhav, Managing Director, New Era Shipping Pvt. Ltd, Ms. Rupa Naik ,Director, World Trade Centre Mumbai, Capt. James Braganza, Captain of Ports. Rear Admiral Shekhar Mital NM, Retd. Chairman and Managing Director, Goa Shipyard Ltd. and Mr. Sandeep Sood, Managing Director, Express Machines & Scaffolding Pvt. Ltd.

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.