MASSA Seeks Financial Incentives on Training Courses

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Maritime Association of Shipowners Shipmanagers and Agents (MASSA) has sought financial incentives, including GST exemption, on some maritime training courses for the ship manning industry, reports News Drum.

A shortage of qualified seafarer

A highly skilled seafarer is sought after in the global employment market and such sops, if incorporated in the forthcoming Union Budget, will certainly boost employment of the Indian maritime workforce, MASSA said in a statement.

According to the Association, global maritime organisation BIMCO has predicted a shortage of qualified seafarers by 2025 and thereafter.

“With the central government’s focus on skill development, facilities and incentive should be given to simulator and practical maritime training courses conducted by approved and recognised maritime institutes operating in India,” said Shiv Halbe, CEO, MASSA.

Such courses should be “exempted” from GST, thereby reducing costs and encouraging more and more Indian seafarers to enhance their skills, he said.

The global employment market has a high demand for a highly-skilled seafarer, according to Halbe.

He said that MASSA has suggested few policy changes to the government and communicated its views and suggestions for incorporating them in the forthcoming Union Budget.

Skill India

He also said that maritime education and training in the country should be part of the ‘Skill India’ initiative eligible for related benefits and tax exemptions.

Noting that just as the Indian-flag cargo ships are currently eligible for tonnage tax benefits, he said, a tax incentive scheme on similar lines should also be introduced for the crew managers operating in India.

“Financial incentives given to such authorised recruiters and agents in India will indeed boost the intake of shipboard berths for trainee level seafarers in India. It will help the country to expand its global share of well-qualified seafarers gradually,” said MASSA chief.

He further stated that to meet the global demand of qualified Indian seafarers, it is important that the central government actively promotes careers at sea, enhances Indian maritime training infrastructure and boosts the country’s ship manning industry through grants and financial incentives announced in the forthcoming Union Budget.

“It will be a good opportunity for our country to increase employment opportunities for Indian youth and also become a leading maritime labour supply destination in line with the ‘Maritime Vision 2030’,” he added. PTI IAS HVA

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Source: News Drum

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