Make In India’s Big Leap


Future Maritime Sector Of India


The following proactive and progressive interventions were taken by the Ministry of Shipping in the areas of ship building, port development, inland waterways and coastal shipping this year for the development of the maritime sector in the country:

1. Major focus on simplifying procedures by removing irritants

  • Re-rolled steel from ship breaking allowed for ship building which will help to bring down the cost of constructions of barges, river-sea vessels and port and harbour crafts.
  • The requirement of registration of Ship Repair Units (SRUs) with Directorate General (Shipping) has been eased.
  • As many as 13 obsolete rules under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 has been weeded out.
  • Customs and excise duty exempted on the use of bunker fuels.
  • cabotage relaxed for a period of five years for special vessels like Roll-On Roll-Off (Ro-Ro).
  • E governance initiatives-
    • Online application, processing and issuance of chartering permission.
    • Registration certificate to transport operators is also being issued online.
    • Online Collection of Light Dues – Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL) has now facilitated the payment of Light dues through online mode.
    • Syndicate Bank has been accredited to collect the Light dues through online banking.

2. Many initiatives have been taken up in the area of ship building and manufacture of dredgers, promoting the objectives of Make in India

  • Product Diversification by Cochin Shipyard Ltd.-
    • CSL has received license for making cargo containment systems for LNG carriers.
    • CSL has entered into a technology tie up with Samsung Heavy Industry of Republic of Korea for manufacture of LNG vessels.

With the above two initiatives CSL becomes the first port in India to manufacture LNG carrying vessels.

  • CSL has:
    • manufactured six Fast Patrol Vessels for the Indian Coast Guard and one Platform Supply Vessel
    • undertaken a project to build a passenger ship of 1200 capacity for Andaman & Nicobar Islands
    • entered into a technology tie up with IHC Holland BV for manufacturing dredgers
    • constructed a state of the art Buoy Tender Vessel for Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships
  • Inputs used in Ship Manufacturing and Repair Exempted from Customs and Central Excise Duties –
    • Inputs used in ship manufacturing and repair have been exempted from Customs and Central Excise Duties with effect from the 24th of November, 2015.

The focus of the present government is on modernization of Major Ports and increasing their operational efficiency.  With new initiatives Major Ports have shown an improvement in their performance with the volume of cargo handled increasing by 4.6% and revenue increasing by 8.7% in 2015.

The Sagarmala project:

The project envisages port-led development including development of Special Economic Zones, FTWZs, rail, road, and water connectivity with the hinterland, with linkages to tourism & other related sectors, port-led industrialization, port based urbanization, coastal tourism, coastal shipping, fisheries, recreational activities.  A Project Development Consultant has been engaged for preparation of National Perspective Plan.

  • Finalization of National Perspective Plan with traffic forecast, Port capacity required till 2030, potential for trans-shipment, bunkering and coastal & inland waterways.
  • Techno-economic feasibility report for selected 3 new Port locations.
  • Formation of Sagarmala Development Company and Port Rail Company.
  • Implementation of strategy for setting up Trans-shipment Hub(s).
  • Implementation of at least 10 projects for Port led development, evacuation, light house tourism and skill development.
  • Preparation of development plan for Islands & Palm cultivation.
  • The 1 meeting of the National Sagarmala Apex Committee (NSAC) was held on 5th October, 2015.

Special Initiatives:

  • India signed an MoU with Iran for developing Chahbahar Port in Iran.
  • A vision for coastal shipping, tourism and regional development to increase the share of coastal/IWT mode from 7% to 10% by 2019-20 has been prepared.
  •  An MoU was signed with Republic of Korea to promote bilateral cooperation in maritime transport.
  • India and Bangladesh:
    • Signed an agreement to allow River Sea Vessels (RSV) to carry cargo between the two neighbours.
    • Initiated a Draft MoU on Passenger and Cruise Services on Coastal and Protocol Route.
    • Agreed on the extension of Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) with the provision of automatic renewal in line with the proposed amendment to the Bangladesh-India trade agreement during a Secretary-level talk between the two countries.
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of :
    • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Spain on cooperation in Port matters.
    • A shipping agreement between India and Jordan.
    • An agreement between India and Egypt on Maritime Transport.


  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Ratification of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No. 185 on the Seafarers Identity Document (SID).  A biometric based seafarer’s identity document will be developed, mainly, to ensure a foolproof security system to ward off the potential risk of breach of security and possible terrorist attacks.
  • International bodies have agreed to India’s efforts to push back the High Risk Area (HRA) from 78 degrees East longitude to the 65 degrees East longitude.  This will result in huge savings for India’s EXIM trade and consumers on account of reduced insurance premium and consequently freight costs.


Source: Press Information Bureau