The first edition of the India Maritime Week was hugely successful in bringing together the entire shipping industry under one roof to deliberate and decide the future course of India’s maritime trade. At the end of the five-day event held last year from January 17-21, 2012, a conclusive report was prepared by the organising committee. The report had recommendations to the Ministry of Shipping for steps to be taken to sustain the growth momentum of India’s shipping industry. This year round, at the Gateway Media awards, stalwarts of the sector put in their thinking caps yet again to gauge the response of the ministry and create another blueprint for the industry. The excerpts of the speeches are truly noteworthy for they charter the course ahead.
The cabinet will consider recommendations made by the industry and the National Shipping Board on April 25, the National Shipping Board Chairman Capt PVK Mohan said. The NSB had submitted a report earlier to an inter-ministerial committee on how a ‘modal shift’ of cargo movement from rail-road to sea would be more effective and safer for India. A subsidy for coastal shipping could soon be on the cards if the Suggestions are accepted."I had highlighted the need of such action speaking of the positives such as clean environment, cost effectiveness and carbon credits. He said the cabinet acceptance to consider recommendations made by the industry during the India Maritime Week was the biggest victory for the industry. Other recommendations made were about port entry rules. The members sought a ban on using ships older than 25 years. This would ensure a sharp fall in the number of accidents, spillage in to the sea, and an improvement in the quality of tonnage visiting he ports.He called for a better framework on security issue and said the recommendations made by the Chitra Committee have been conclusively integrated to in the proposal to the cabinet to tackle pollution at Tier I ports. "Along with that, we are also looking at the possibility of reworking the oil cess and getting more funds to tighten the security to make the waters much cleaner," he said. There are also propositions to welcome more private players for dredging for the sector to become self sufficient and not depend on central funding for activities that involve a huge outlay. "The government has been working hard to implement the suggestions and we also recently had a meeting of the members of the National Shipping Board that was attended by the Minister, GK Vasan," Capt Mohan said. He concluded his remarks by congratulating all the winners.
The Ministry of Shipping has set up four interministerial committees for considering the proposals put forth by Gateway Media in consultation with different stakeholders of the industry, Chairman of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, L Radhakrishnan said at the Gateway Media awards.He spoke on four major areas of concern – dredging, connectivity, corporatization of ports and tariff control – that were on course of being addressed by the Ministry of Shipping. While the proposal had asked for a complete funding of dredging to deepen the draft at ports, the planning commission said all ports that have a capacity to fund dredging would be allowed at 50 per cent grant, while the others whose balance sheets cannot support huge capital expenditure can avail a 75 per cent aid from the centre."This is essential to take the maritime agenda forward to make sure all the major ports on the east and west coast have a 17 m draft. This is important because the export-import community can save on transshipment." JNPT, on its part, will opt for a deferred payment system where it will make a contribution equal to that of the government’s as when the latter decide to allocate funds to the port for dredging.Speaking of the progress made on improving rail-road connectivity for cargo to ship out, he said the Ministry promised to address the issue by drafting a medium and a long term plan to able faster movement of goods to and from the port. He added that the Ministry has also promised to knuckle down to examine points of contention such as tariff regulation that are delaying corporatization of ports. The fourth and last area of concern was the excessive regulation of tariff by the Tariff Authority for Major Ports. He vocally denounced the stringent norms that deterred smooth business processes between ports, shipping lines and the final customers."A regulator as TAMP does not exist anywhere in the world," he said. While the recommendations asked for the TAMP to be abolished, new guidelines were instead proposed as the Major Ports Trust Act would have to be amended for any decision on TAMP’s role and existence. He cheered the role played by Gateway Media in changing the maritime policy.
It was with pleasure that I announced India Maritime Week a few months ago. It is with greater pleasure that I now declare that the noble initiative has been successful in bringing key stakeholders to actively participate and support....Read More
Shri G K VasanHon'ble Union Minister for ShippingGovernment of IndiaTo tide over the shortcomings and head towards the goal in the maritime sector, I welcome the collective thought of the industry and the stakeholders on the prevailing regulations and seek suggestions for improving the efficacy and efficiency of the governing and operating systems. India Maritime Week is seen as providing the perfect platform for policy makers, decision makers and industry captains working across diverse spheres to share a common cause of maritime development. I am happy to declare open India Maritime Week 2012.
Shri K Mohandas, IASSecretary, Ministry of ShippingGovernment of IndiaIn spite of inter-segmental variations in thinking, it is necessary and possible that the whole maritime sector thinks together. The initiative by Gateway Media to sow the seeds of bringing together the industry is a very good one. If ship owners, ship builders, logistics players, port operators and other maritime players can come together and have an umbrella or a confederation, it would be easy for the government also to form a partnership, like several partnerships in other arms of the government. I look forward to such a combined organization in the maritime industry emerging soon.
Capt P V K MohanChairmanNational Shipping BoardCapacities definitely need to be enhanced and we need to build capacities in such a way that we meet the challenges for the next two decades. The good news is that more and more infrastructure companies are coming forward to take part in port development. Connectivity is a key issue that needs to be addressed. Also, there is a need for change in the mindset of city-based ports which must leverage the assets they have, including real estate. Rather than struggling to develop and expand on their own, they could go in for building satellite ports or investing in greenfield ports.