Ports, shipping need Rs.1 trillion by 2015

April 9th, 2008 - 5:14 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) The Indian port and shipping sector would require Rs.1 trillion ($25 billion) to reach its aim of increasing port capacity to 1,500 million tonnes by 2015, federal shipping secretary A.P.V.N. Sarma said Wednesday. “Of the total investment requirement, the port sector would require investment worth Rs.550 billion. Shipping and inland waterways would need Rs.450 billion by 2015,” he added.

“The Indian maritime sector requires a massive infrastructure support to catch up with global development. We are planning to increase the capacities of major ports to 1,000 million tonnes and those of non-major ports to 500 million tonnes.

“This leaves enough room for private sector participation. There already is a huge response from foreign players for the port sector,” Sarma told IANS on the sidelines of Conquest 2008, a conference on infrastructure, logistics and transport, organised by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).

The investment would be channelled through the National Maritime Board (NMB), the shipping ministry secretary said.

S. Hajara, chairman and managing director, Shipping Corporation of India Ltd told IANS: “Another major area of investment is ship building. As per our estimates private ship building companies are planning to invest about Rs.185 billion in the next five years.

“What has been important in this sector is the emergence of the non major ports which accounts for 25 percent of the total sea traffic in this country, contributing cargo handling. In the coming years it will further increase to 35 percent.”

B.N. Puri, principal adviser (transport) in the Planning Commission, said that another area of concern is increasing logistics cost. While the cost of transportation is going down in other countries, it is going up in India, he held.

“The Planning Commission is finalising a policy framework to handle problems of logistics to lower the transaction costs. The policy is in final stage of completion and can be announced in the next few weeks.”

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