No re­view on new cab­o­tage law rules

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The ship­ping min­istry has re­jected calls for re­view­ing its rules is­sued in March on eas­ing the cab­o­tage law to al­low for­eign con­tainer car­ri­ers to op­er­ate on lo­cal routes for pro­mot­ing trans­ship­ment hubs. “We have tried to bring the best pos­si­ble pack­age be­tween a need for a pure trans­ship­ment hub vis-a-vis the In­dian con­tainer ship-own­ers. You can’t have a oneway traf­fic,” says Ra­jive Ku­mar, Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Ship­ping. On March 7, the ship­ping min­istry re­laxed cab­o­tage re­stric­tions for trans­porta­tion of ex­portim­port (EXIM) loaded and empty con­tain­ers on for­eign con­tainer ships on lo­cal routes for ag­gre­ga­tion of con­tain­ers to fa­cil­i­tate trans­ship­ment. The main op­po­si­tion to the new rules re­lates to a stip­u­la­tion that once cab­o­tage re­lax­ation is granted to an ex­ist­ing con­tainer han­dling port, it should be able to trans­ship at least 50 per cent or more of the to­tal con­tain­ers han­dled dur­ing the first year, while a new port will have to achieve this level in the sec­ond year af­ter a ges­ta­tion pe­riod of one year. Oth­er­wise, the re­lax­ation granted would be re­voked and the port/s will not be con­sid­ered again for such re­lax­ation for the next three years.

Ra­jive Ku­mar Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Ship­ping

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