Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated ‘Maritime India Summit 2021’ through video conferencing. Minister of Transport of Denmark Mr. Benny Englebrecht, Chief Ministers of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Mansukh Mandaviya were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister invited the world to come to India and be a part of India’s growth trajectory. India is very serious about growing in the maritime sector and emerging as a leading Blue Economy of the world. Through the focus areas of up-gradation of infrastructure, boosting reform journey, India aims to strengthen the vision of Aatamnirbhar Bharat, he said.
He noted that instead of a piecemeal approach focus is on the entire sector as one. He informed that the capacity of major ports has increased from 870 million tonnes in 2014 to 1550 million tonnes now. Indian ports now have measures such as Direct port Delivery, Direct Port Entry and an upgraded Port Community System (PCS) for easy data flow. Our ports have reduced waiting time for inbound and outbound cargo. He also informed that mega ports with world-class infrastructure are being developed in Vadhavan, Paradip and Deendayal Port in Kandla.
PM Narendra Modi asserted that “Ours is a Government that is investing in waterways in a way that was never seen before. Domestic waterways are found to be cost-effective and environment-friendly ways of transporting freight. We aim to operationalize 23 waterways by 2030.” He also pointed out that India has as many as 189 lighthouses across its vast coastline. “We have drawn up a program for developing tourism in the land adjacent to 78 lighthouses. The key objective of this initiative is to enhance the development of the existing lighthouses and its surrounding areas into unique maritime tourism landmarks”, Shri Modi informed. He announced that steps are also being taken to introduce urban water transport systems in key states and cities such as Kochi, Mumbai, Gujarat, and Goa.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Government has recently widened the ambit of the maritime sector by renaming the Ministry of Shipping as Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways so that work happens in a holistic manner. The Government of India is also focusing on the domestic shipbuilding and ship repair market. To encourage domestic shipbuilding approval has been given to the Shipbuilding Financial Assistance Policy for Indian Shipyards.
PM Narendra Modi informed that the Ministry of Port Shipping and Waterways has created a list of 400 investable projects. These projects have an investment potential of $ 31 billion or Rs 2.25 lakh crores. Talking about the Maritime India Vision 2030, The Prime Minister said It outlines the priorities of the Government.
The Sagar-Manthan: Mercantile Marine Domain Awareness Centre has also been launched today. It is an information system for enhancing maritime safety, search and rescue capabilities, security, and marine environment protection.
The Sagarmala project for promoting port-led development was announced by the Government in 2016. As part of the Programme, more than 574 projects at a cost of 82 billion US Dollars or Rs 6 lakh crores have been identified for implementation from 2015 to 2035. Ship repair clusters will be developed along both coasts by 2022. The domestic ship recycling industry will also be promoted to create ‘Wealth from Waste’. India has enacted the Recycling of Ships Act, 2019, and agreed to the Hong Kong International Convention.
He expressed the desire to share our best practices with the world and also the openness to learning from global best practices. Continuing with India’s focus on trade and economic linkages with the BIMSTEC and IOR nations, India plans to enhance investment in infrastructure and facilitate mutual agreements by 2026, he said.
PM Narendra Modi said that the Government has initiated holistic development of island infrastructure and ecosystem. He added that the Government is keen to promote the use of renewable energy in the maritime sector. He said the Government is in the process of installing solar and wind-based power systems at all the major ports across the country and aims to increase usage of renewable energy to more than 60% of total energy by 2030 in three phases across Indian ports.
The Prime Minister concluded with an exhortation to the global investors “India’s long coastline awaits you. India’s hardworking people await you. Invest in our ports. Invest in our people. Let India be your preferred trade destination. Let Indian ports be your port of call for trade and commerce.”