India and U.S. to enhance cooperation in maritime sectorStaff Writer | July 20, 2016
India and the U.S. have agreed to deepen the scope of cooperation in the maritime sector with the American ports evincing keen interest in port-led development, especially the ambitious Sagarmala programme.
Working together 150 projects under Sagarmala
The Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, who held wide-ranging discussions with the representatives of Harbor Department of the City of Long Beach, 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.
Gadkari went round the Port of Long Beach and explored joint venture opportunities with India’s flagship container handling Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) to promote transfer of technology and enhance bilateral commerce. The Port of Long Beach was set up in 1911.
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.
Besides, Gadkari said, the government has agreed to provide maritime clusters for ancillary industrial support and design centres, as well as financial assistance to meet the challenge of lack of competitive advantage due to heavy subsidies provided by major shipbuilding countries to their shipbuilding industry.
Gadkari also highlighted the vision of Sagarmala envisaging reduction of logistics cost for EXIM and domestic trade with minimal infrastructure investment aimed at creating four million new direct jobs and another six million indirect jobs. ■