Are government policies a facilitator or a drag?
The parliamentary debate was a first of its kind session introduced this year that saw three panelists each speak for and against a set motion. A vote by the audience on the motion was called for – before and after the speakers made their presentation
The Containers India event had a unique and unprecedented opening session this September. A Parliamentary Debate comprising of six speakers who argued for and against a motion. The motion that was set as a ruling was whether the Indian business laws and policies were hindering the growth of the shipping industry.
The six speakers were Deepak Shetty, Former Director General, Shipping, Anil Devli, Chief Executive Officer, INSA, Rajeeva Sinha, Former Whole-time Director Adani Ports & SEZ Ltd, Vivek
Kele, President, AMTOI, Anil Yendluri, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Krishnapatnam Port Company Limited and Prakash Tulsiani, COO and Executive Director (Operations), Allcargo Logistics. The debate was chaired by Michael Pinto, Former Secretary, Ministry of Shipping.
Each speaker made a representation of his side of the story. The audience that was present in large numbers was made to vote twice during the session – once before and once after the debate. The difference between voting in the beginning and voting in the end was a function of how the gentlemen argued their case. Later, the matter was thrown open to the floor to participate by making points and asking questions. It was an intervening debate. The house believed that flawed maritime policies are responsible for slackened maritime growth.
Anil Devli, Anil Yendluri and Prakash Tulsiani spoke for the motion and spoke of how the lackadaisical approach of the government was responsible for the industry to lag behind many other nations. Anil devil said, “Unfavourable policies, high taxation, lack of a funding mechanism for purchasing quality vessels was what set the Indian shipping industry back by many a decade.” His argument was support by Anil Yendluri who agreed stated that the issues facing the ministry have remained the same since two decades. Archaic Customs laws and restrictive trade practices were responsible for the damage, he said. Prakash Tulsiani, who was the other speaker that supported the motion said, “The current bottlenecks are issues that have been neglected for many years. The ship will take time to turn. Time taken for policies to be implemented is too long in Maritime sector.
Those who argued against the motion were primarily two former government servants and the President of the Association of Multimodal Operators. Deepak Shetty said,
“We repealed 14 merchant shipping rules and did away with four archaic admiralty acts. He also said there were 16 merchant shipping rules being proposed to be coterminous with the new act.” Rajeeva Sinha, an industry veteran who also worked long in the government said government policies have contributed to the progress and that private parties have failed to implement projects on time in the country. He praised the PPP format that has worked wonderfully in developing and enhancing the port infrastructure in the country. Vivek Kele, the final speaker said that several income tax exemptions have been given for infrastructure development. Apart from these changes, the sagarmala project has been given great emphasis to the maritime industry where the coastal shipping and inland water transport have contributed greatly to the industry.
(L to R) Vivek Kele, President, AMTOI; Rajeeva Sinha, Former Whole-time Director Adani Ports & SEZ Ltd; Deepak Shetty, Former Director General of Shipping; Michael Pinto, Former Secretary, Ministry of Shipping; Anil Devli, Chief Executive Officer, INSA; Anil Yendluri, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Krishnapatnam Port Company Limited; Prakash Tulsiani, COO & Executive Director (Operations), Allcargo Logistics.
Session in Progress