Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture has asked the Ministry of
Ports, Shipping and Waterways to provide reasons for the delay in the
completion of 632 projects under the Sagarmala programme.
Out of 802 sanctioned, only 172 completed
The report of the
panel on “Promotion of Infrastructure in India’s Maritime Sector”, tabled in
both the Houses on Wednesday, 4th August, said only 172 projects out of the 802
sanctioned projects under the Sagarmala Programme have been completed and the
remaining 632 projects are under the implementation stage, which is far from
The panel said the
shipping industry in India is subjected to multiple taxes as compared to
leading maritime nations due to which shipping companies are not attracted to
invest in India. It asked the Ministry to formulate a new tax regime in line
with other tax regimes of leading maritime nations.
The panel asked
the Ministry to expedite the projects. “The Committee, therefore, desires to
know whether the projects under implementation have witnessed any time overrun
and cost escalation as compared to the original cost and timeline of the
projects. The Ministry should also mention the precise reasons for delay, if
any, port-wise and steps being taken to address such delays,” the report said.
It also found that
only a small fraction of funds has been utilised so far from the allocation and
said it speaks of very poor planning and fiscal indiscipline. “The Committee
would, therefore, like to be apprised of the measures taken for effective and
efficient utilisation of sanctioned funds,” the report added.
It recommended a
dedicated mechanism for effective coordination and monitoring of PPP projects
for developing of private ports in the country. “Further, ways should be
chalked out to link private ports with the major and minor ports of the country
in order to cater to the growing requirement for import/export of manufactured
goods/ raw materials, immediately after the phase of Covid-19 pandemic is
over,” the report said.
Poor coordination between Ministry and implementing agencies
expressed dismay to note that out of 98 road connectivity projects to ports,
only 13 projects have been completed. “Similarly, out of 91 rail connectivity
projects, only 28 projects have been completed so far. This speaks of poor
coordination between the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and the
implementing agencies. The Ministry is extending timelines for execution of these
projects instead of emphasising upon their timely and speedy completion,” the
report said and recommended a dedicated monitoring mechanism to ensure
completion within the approved cost and designated time.