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Breaking News :A Bill to boost cargo movement along the Indian coastline

Requirement of trading license for Indian flag vessels for coastal trade

A Bill to boost cargo movement along the country’s 7,500-km coastline is likely to get the Indian Cabinet nod in December, Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said.

, Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya

The Coastal Shipping Bill, 2020, which proposes to do away with the requirement of trading license for Indian flag vessels for coastal trade besides creating a competitive environment to reduce transportation costs, has been circulated for inter-ministerial consultation.

Coastal Shipping Bill

“We are bringing the Coastal Shipping Bill. We expect the Cabinet nod in December,” Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Mandaviya told.

Mandaviya said once the legislation is enacted, it will give a big impetus to coastal cargo movement and reduce logistics costs.

“The Bill at present is under circulation for inter-ministerial deliberation,” the minister said.

He added that once approved, the coastal infrastructure will be augmented and necessary changes will be done in rules and regulations pertaining to coastal shipping.

Shipping sector grows

As the shipping sector grows and evolves in the country, a need was felt to have a separate legislation on coastal shipping and recognise the policy priorities of the sector to meet the industry’s demands, the minister said.

The ministry has drafted the Coastal Shipping Bill, 2020, in lieu of part XIV of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.

The Bill also proposes integration of coastal maritime transport with inland waterways.

Mandaviya said the government will focus on creating a port grid in the country besides development of waterways and coastal shipping.

“We have a coastline of 7,500 km which can be harnessed to fuel economic growth and employment,” he said.

Smaller ports

He said 1,400 km of waterways have been fully developed and an additional 1,000 km of waterways are being developed on a priority basis.

Last week, the minister said, “We are also focusing for creation of a port grid, encompassing various smaller ports like fisheries port, agriculture port and mineral port, so that port development and port-led development take place in the country.”

Source: Economic Times

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