Govt may allow foreign vessels in coastal waters
The government is considering a proposal to permit foreign vessels to operate in Indian coastal waters with a view to reduce logistics cost, enhance port efficiency and boost domestic shipping industry. The move would facilitate transportation of cargo between different ports along the country's coastline. Currently, the Cabotage rules, which governs this activity, make it difficult for foreign flagged vessels to handle cargo between two domestic ports. The move would also help cut shipping rates and transportation time. According to traders, there is a scarcity of Indian mainline vessels in the country and it impacts smooth movement of cargo and consignments.