India & US: Enhancing cooperation in maritime
India and the US have agreed to deepen the scope of cooperation in the maritime sector with the American ports evincing keen interest in comprehensive portled development, especially in the Sagarmala programme.
The 150 projects under this programme have the potential of mobilising $50-60 billion of infrastructure investment and another US$ 100 billion of investment for industrial growth.
Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways offered investment opportunities in building and developing new ports, construction of new berths/ terminals in existing ports, coastal economic zones, dredging, ship building, ship repairing, ship recycling, development of inland waterways and coastal and cruise shipping in discussions with the representatives of Harbor Department of City of Long Beach.
The shipping minister outlined the regulatory assistance which the Narendra Modi government has offered to the maritime sector, including grant of infrastructure status to shipyards, supportive domestic eligibility criteria for Indian shipyards for assured ship repair orders, service tax exemption on ship repair service for foreign going vessels, setting up of ship repairing business immediately without any approval from director generals.
Gadkari was briefed about the higher container traffic at the Port of Long Beach fuelled by rising imports. More than 2,000 vessels call at the Port of Long Beach each year, moving US$ 180 billion in cargo.