MIS 2016: In­dia sets sail

With an aim to boost the mar­itime sec­tor and re­move un­nec­es­sary hur­dles, the gov­ern­ment or­gan­ised the maiden Mar­itime In­dia Sum­mit 2016 in Mum­bai in April 2016.

Cargo Talk - - Front Page - HAZEL JAIN

Un­der the aegis of ‘Make In In­dia’ pro­gramme ini­ti­ated by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi, the maiden Mar­itime In­dia Sum­mit 2016 (MIS 2016) and the first of its kind meet in In­dia, fo­cussed on restor­ing In­dia’s po­si­tion in the global mar­itime sec­tor. The sum­mit was in­au­gu­rated by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi on April 14, 2016 which was also the 125th birth an­niver­sary of Dr. Babasa­heb Ambed­kar who is con­sid­ered as the ar­chi­tect of the wa­ter and nav­i­ga­tion pol­icy in In­dia. trans­porta­tion, coastal ship­ping, light­house tourism and cruise ship­ping, hin­ter­land con­nec­tiv­ity and lo­gis­tics han­dling fa­cil­i­ties. The Min­istry of Ship­ping was show­cas­ing about 250 projects with in­vest­ment op­por­tu­nity in the mar­itime sec­tor. Th­ese projects in­clude var­i­ous in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in 12 Ma­jor Ports, projects in eight mar­itime states and other agen­cies. Apart from two halls ded­i­cated to the ex­hi­bi­tion, the sum­mit also had a Mar­itime her­itage mu­seum, built in the shape of ship, by the JNPT.

The PM an­nounced the gov­ern­ment’s plan to mo­bilise an in­vest­ment of one tril­lion ru­pees (`1

lakh crore) in the port sec­tor to chan­nelise eco­nomic growth. “Five new ports are planned to meet the in­creas­ing de­mand of the EXIM trade. We want to mod­ernise ports and in­te­grate them with SEZs, port­based smart cities, in­dus­trial parks, ware­houses, lo­gis­tics parks. In­dia is pro­mot­ing coastal ship­ping in a big way and de­vel­op­ing 14,000 km of nav­i­ga­ble in­land wa­ter­ways in the coun­try. We are com­mit­ted to cre­at­ing an en­abling en­vi­ron­ment for in­vestors and to fa­cil­i­tate in­vest­ments with an open mind. I call upon the global business com­mu­nity to part­ner with us to give shape to our process of port-led devel­op­ment,” Modi an­nounced. He also in­ter­acted with global CEOs from the port and ship­ping sec­tor.

The Sa­gar­mala Na­tional Per­spec­tive Plan iden­ti­fies spe­cific op­por­tu­ni­ties for trans­porta­tion of com­modi­ties such as ther­mal coal, fer­til­iz­ers

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The sum­mit had a ded­i­cated pavil­ion for ex­hibitors from South Korea with a del­e­ga­tion of over 100 par­tic­i­pants. A MoU was signed by Nitin Gad­kari, Min­is­ter of Road, Trans­port, High­ways & Ship­ping, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia and Kim Young Suk, Min­is­ter of Oceans & Fish­eries, Gov­ern­ment of the Repub­lic of Korea, for co­op­er­a­tion and mu­tual as­sis­tance be­tween the two coun­tries in port re­lated mat­ters.

The MoU is ex­pected to help both coun­tries to en­cour­age and fa­cil­i­tate the devel­op­ment of ports, port re­lated in­dus­try, mar­itime re­la­tion­ship and co­op­er­ate in the tasks of shar­ing of tech­nol­ogy, ex­pe­ri­ences in the fields of port devel­op­ment and oper­a­tion, ex­change of in­for­ma­tion on con­struc­tion, build­ing, en­gi­neer­ing and re­lated as­pects in the field of port devel­op­ment, joint par­tic­i­pa­tion in port-re­lated con­struc­tion, build­ing and en­gi­neer­ing projects that both par­ties are in­ter­ested in, ex­change of ex­perts in­clud­ing of­fi­cials from the rel­e­vant min­istries of each coun­try in the field of port and re­lated ed­u­ca­tion and training.

In­dia stands to gain from this agree­ment as South Korea has con­sid­er­able ex­per­tise in port and ship­ping sec­tor and can help In­dia to mod­ernise its ports and de­velop the ship­ping in­dus­try.

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The po­ten­tial for port-led devel­op­ment in In­dia had been con­strained by high lo­gis­tics costs, long lead times and poor link­ages be­tween in­dus­trial and lo­gis­tics in­fra­struc­ture. Growth was hin­dered by in­ad­e­quate port ca­pac­ity and the fact that so­lu­tions were of­ten not tai­lored for coastal com­mu­ni­ties. Trans­porta­tion by wa­ter­ways has re­mained un­der-utilised in In­dia, although wa­ter­ways are cheaper com­pared to road and rail­ways.

With the Sa­gar­mala pro­posal be­ing ap­proved by the Cab­i­net, the gov­ern­ment is pin­ning high hopes on the project that aims to pro­mote port-led devel­op­ment in the coun­try. The re­lease of the Na­tional Per­spec­tive Plan that was done dur­ing the MIS 2016 is the first step to­wards this. The plan also takes for­ward the gov­ern­ment’s core phi­los­o­phy of co­op­er­a­tive fed­er­al­ism. The project will be fast­tracked for com­ple­tion from five to 10 years and of­fers in­vest­ment

`12 op­por­tu­ni­ties of lakh crore. Gad­kari said the plan had been crafted af­ter de­tailed con­sul­ta­tions with key stake­hold­ers in the cen­tral and state gov­ern­ments, pub­lic sec­tor com­pa­nies as well as pri­vate play­ers from ship­ping, ports, ship-build­ing, power, ce­ment and steel sec­tors. It takes for­ward Sa­gar­mala’s vi­sion of sub­stan­tially re­duc­ing ex­portim­port and do­mes­tic trade costs with a min­i­mal in­vest­ment. The re­port es­ti­mates that the Sa­gar­mala pro­gramme could lead to an­nual lo­gis­tics cost sav­ings of close to `35,000

crore and boost In­dia’s mer­chan­dise ex­ports to $110 bil­lion by 2025. About one crore jobs are es­ti­mated to be cre­ated, of which 40 lakh will be di­rect em­ploy­ment.

The Sa­gar­mala pro­gramme of the Min­istry of Ship­ping, aims to repli­cate the suc­cesses that the United States, Ja­pan, Korea and more re­cently, China has wit­nessed. The Sa­gar­mala Na­tional Per­spec­tive Plan iden­ti­fies spe­cific op­por­tu­ni­ties for trans­porta­tion of com­modi­ties such as ther­mal coal, fer­til­iz­ers, food grains, ce­ment and steel by coastal ship­ping and in­land wa­ter­ways.

Sa­gar­mala aims to de­liver im­pact through over 150 projects and ini­tia­tives in four broad ar­eas: moderni­sa­tion of ex­ist­ing ports and set up 5-6 new ports, fo­cus on port con­nec­tiv­ity through heavy haul rail cor­ri­dor, freight-friendly ex­press­ways and devel­op­ment of strate­gic in­land wa­ter­ways, tap­ping into the po­ten­tial of por­tled in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion through coastal SEZs hous­ing a num­ber of in­dus­trial clus­ters, and har­ness­ing po­ten­tial of coastal com­mu­ni­ties through skill devel­op­ment and in­creased eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Gad­kari said, “This is the be­gin­ning. In­dia suf­fers from ex­cise and cus­tom prob­lems, rules and charges, fuel prob­lems. We have been try­ing to un­der­stand th­ese prob­lems and look for so­lu­tions. The Sa­gar­mala project is closely re­lated to our in­dus­trial growth but most im­por­tantly for em­ploy­ment gen­er­a­tion. Lo­gis­tics and trans­port cost in In­dia is very high. In China it is around 8-10 per cent, some­times even six per cent. In In­dia it is more than 18 per cent– three times more ex­pen­sive

In­dia’s vast coast­line of 7,500 km of­fers a huge in­vest­ment op­por­tu­nity. Apart from the length of the coast­line, In­dia’s mar­itime po­ten­tial also lies in its strate­gic lo­ca­tion on all ma­jor ship­ping high­ways

than China. In Euro­pean coun­tries, it is 10-12 per cent. The rea­son be­hind this is that in China, more than 47 per cent of trans­port hap­pens over wa­ter. In Ja­pan and Korea it is 43-44 per cent. In Europe it is 40 per cent. We need to do that.”

He added that an­other rea­son for low costs in th­ese coun­tries is the prox­im­ity of in­dus­trial ar­eas to the wa­ter body. “In­dia did not pay at­ten­tion to this af­ter 1947. We cur­rently have road length of 52 lakh km. Of this, only 96,000 km is the Na­tional High­way that takes 40 per cent of our over­all traf­fic.

We have now de­cided to take the Na­tional High­way to two lakh km–it is al­ready 1.5 lakh at the mo­ment,” Gad­kari said, adding that the Sa­gar­mala project alone can bring down the lo­gis­tics cost to 10 per cent.

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