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Development of Shipping Sector

Shipping Ministry has formulated a 20 year master plan for 12 state owned major ports in which as many as 142 expansion projects will be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs 91,434 Crores. The projects are set to create additional cargo handling capacity of 884 million metric tons per annum.

As part of implementing the master plan, the ports will take up 58 projects at an estimated cost of Rs 28,767 Crores for implementation during the current financial year.

An International benchmarking Consultant conducted a study of the Major Ports two years ago which recommended 116 initiatives to enhance their efficiency and productivity to international benchmarks and unlock their capacity. Of the 116 initiatives, 85 initiatives have already been implemented.

In order to strengthen the shipping and ports sector and make it internationally competitive, the Government of India has taken various steps which include

Exemption of Customs and Excise Duty levied on bunker fuels used in Indian flag vessels for transportation of mix of EXIM, domestic and empty containers between two or more ports in India. Abatement of service tax of 70 per cent for transportation of goods by Coastal shipping and Inland-Waterways transportation has been announced.

The Finance Ministry has notified inclusion of stand-alone shipyards undertaking activities such as shipbuilding and ship-repair in the Harmonized List of Infrastructure sectors on April 13 last year.

To promote manufacture of sea-going vessels by Indian shipyards, Shipbuilding Financial Assistance Policy was approved for contracts signed during a ten year period, viz. 2016-2026.

Customs and Central Excise duty exemption on inputs used in manufacture of ships to provide a level playing field between indigenously built ships vis-à-vis imported ships. Shipping enterprises based in India have been permitted to acquire ships abroad and also flag them in the country of their convenience.  This policy initiative of “Indian Controlled Tonnage (ICT)” has facilitated Indian ship-owners to gain access to cheaper funds abroad and also save on costs of setting up subsidiaries abroad to acquire and maintain such tonnage.

The information was given by Minister of State for Shipping  Pon. Radhakrishnan in a written reply to the Lok Sabha August Eleven.


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