Maritime sector awaits Rs. 83k-cr investment

Shivraj Singh Chouhan
In view of the huge future business opportunities in the country's shipping sector, the just concluded maiden Maritime Summit has resulted in investment commitments of nearly Rs 83,000-cr ($13 billion) in the shipping, ports and allied sectors, Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said, claiming that as many as 141 agreements entailing investment of Rs 82,900-cr were signed at the summit which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister and that the sector has targeted investments worth $60 billion for 240 projects in the next five years. In fact, the Defence Ministry entering into a pact with Shipping Ministry turned out to be one of the biggest achievements of the summit. The contract will ensure an order flow of nearly Rs 75,000-cr to the troubled private sector shipyards whereby Rs 50,000-cr will come on a nomination basis from the Cochin Shipyard, while another Rs 25,000-cr will flow from other departments. The Sagarmala project will bring down the cost of logistics to 10% from the present 18%, thus making Indian goods competitive, he said adding that the government would mobilise Rs 1 trillion investment in the ports sector over the next decade and promised to personally handhold investors for a "safe, secure and satisfactory" berthing so as to transform the country's 7,500-km-long coastline as an "engine of growth".

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