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Business Economy


Sagarmala to provide fillip to coastal shipping: Dr Malini Shankar

Panaji, Apr 22 (UNI) Director General of Shipping, Dr Malini Shankar, has said that Sagarmala project, launched by the Centre, is expected to integrate coastal trade and provide a fillip to coastal shipping.
Addressing a round table meeting on shipping industry 'An Economic Enhancer for International Trade' organized jointly by World Trade Centre-Goa and World Trade Centre-Mumbai in the city yesterday, she said, ''The government launched the Sagarmala Project which is expected to integrate coastal trade and provide
a fillip to coastal shipping.''
''India is bound by a coastline of 7,500-km with 30 per cent of the population residing in coastal towns and villages.
Shipping industry thus constitutes one of the foremost industries in Indian economy. India’s fleet strength of 1,313 ships represents a three-fold increase since 1990, with a ranking of 18 in the world. Over 95 per cent of India’s trade by volume and 68 per cent of trade in terms of value is transported by sea. Nearly two-third of the fleet in India is engaged in coastal shipping and yet the share of coastal shipping in domestic cargo movement
is only seven per cent. Efforts are being made to increase this share to ten per cent in the next three years,'' she said.
Speaking on the occasion, Captain James Braganza, Captain of Ports Department, government of Goa, said the major operation was the export of iron ore and the department handled 2,60,250 MT of iron ore in 2015-16.
''The Department is in the process of starting a ferry operation from Zuari to Mandovi. Dredging is the primary concern at specific locations mainly in the Zuari and Mandovi rivers affecting the agricultural land. An embankment connecting all rivers from the seabed side is being planned. The Department has
also adopted the Chapora Development Project to convert the village along the Chapora river as an eco-friendly tourist destination,'' Capt Braganza added.
Retired Rear Admiral Shekhar Mital, chairman and managing director of Goa Shipyard Ltd, said GSL was at present concentrating on building the naval ships since the merchant ship building sector was not doing too well. ''Goa Shipyard is planning to construct two missile frigates with Russian collaboration and the project is expected to start in the next two to three years. While the government has exempted excise and customs duty on bunker fuels used in Indian vessels, the ship-building industry could be revived with proper
financial assistance from the government,'' Adm Mital expressed.
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