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Connectivity to ports a problem, say operators

NEW DELHI: Top port operators have raised concerns over the inadequate road and rail connectivity to major ports in the country and blamed procedural and environmental clearances for the delay in case of new projects.

Both small and major port operators participating in the India Maritime Week in the capital on Thursday said that despite the freight corridor work being fast tracked, there was no hope of this becoming operational before the next 7-8 years. “Land acquisition is a big issue, ships reaching our ports are getting bigger. Until you have faster clearance and transportation of consignment, things will become worse,” said the COO of a major port on the east coast.

However, government on its part said the capacity of Indian ports had reached 1.16 billion tonnes and efforts were being made to increase it to 3.2 billion tonnes in the next decade. “The capacity has risen to 1,160 million metric tonnes as on December 31, 2011. Indian tonnage has recently crossed the 11 million gross tonnage (GT) mark,” shipping minister G K Vasan said.

Vasan said Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust ( JNPT) was about to sign an MoU with a private sector consortium for development of phase-I of the fourth container terminal. “Upon completion, the terminal is expected to handle 2.4 million TEUs,” he said.

Vasan said the government was making a further revision of land policy to bring in more transparency. The ministry in 2010 had come up with a Land Policy for Major Ports for putting land at their disposal to optimal use.

The minister said the Centre was also trying to increase India’s share in global ship-building to 5% from the present 1%; and raising the share of Indian seafarers from the current 7% in the global shipping industry to at least 9% by 2015. Vasan added that the government had introduced tonnage tax to promote shipping and the ministry had taken up with the finance ministry the need for exemption of minimum alternate tax ( MAT) on the book profit on sale of qualifying ships and its inclusion within tonnage tax regime.

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Posted by on Jan 20 2012. Filed under Business India News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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