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India keen to increase sea trade: Gadkari

Monday, 16 July 2018 | 00:00

With the heavy competition from the private ports, the Ministry of Shipping directed all the major port managements to gear up to meet the new challenges. The Government of India is keen to increase the sea trade in the coming years, by developing all the major ports with advanced equipment, the Ministry of Shipping instructed the major ports.

The ministry placed multiple tasks to the major ports including spotting the strategic locations to develop accessible infrastructure to reduce the wastage of time for the cargo handling, fair competition, trade facilitation, coastal shipment, rail, road connectivity to the port areas and safety issues. The Ministry of Shipping (MoS) convened All India Major Ports review meeting in the city on Thursday. The meeting was chaired by Nitin Gadkari.

The two Union ministers of State for shipping, Chairman and Deputy Chairman, of Kandla, Vizag, Chennai, JNPT, Mormugao, Port Blair, Mumbai, Kolkata, Paradip, Tuticorin, Cochin and Ennore ports, Secretary of MoS and other key stakeholders of the major ports were present in the meeting.

During the meeting, Nitin Gadkari reviewed the port-wise cargo handling operations, business, berthing time, infrastructure development and augmentation of the equipment. Nitin Gadkari and officials of MoS, after reviewing the 2017-18 cargo handling output, directed all the heads of the major ports to come up with possible targets for the present fiscal.

The sources said that ministry and the key officials also discussed the competition from the private ports. The officials informed to the ministry that private ports are offering special sops to the operators; however, the management of the major ports are failing to reduce the tariff and to offer special discounts as the complete administration was centralised with the ministry. Accepting the same. the officials of the MoS suggested providing some powers to the operational heads to promote trade.

During the meeting, the officials and ministers discussed the inadequate road networks connecting the port areas, machinery inefficiency due to the poor hinterland connectivity through rail, road highways, coastal shipping and inland waterways. The meeting also broadly discussed the dredging activities and information technology development activities to ensure a good turnaround in the major ports.
Source: The Hans India

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