The Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) and Chemicals & Fertilizers, Mansukh Mandaviya has informed the House that the Government has raised the target of cargo movement through Coastal Shipping from 120 MTPA in the year 2018-19 to 230 MTPA by 2025 and has taken the below measures-Licensing relaxation under Section 406 and 407 of the Merchant Shipping Act has been extended for 5 years for specialized vessels such as RO-RO, RO-Pax, Hybrid RO-RO, Pure Car Carriers, Pure Car and Truck Carriers, LNG vessels, Over-Dimensional Cargo, project cargo vessels.
Also the same relaxation has been given to container vessels for carrying export-import containers and empty containers at transshipment ports for outbound transport; and to foreign flag vessels for carrying Agricultural, Fisheries, Horticultural and Animal Produce commodities subject to the condition that these commodities constitute at least 50% of the cargo on board the ship, while Fertilizers, subject to the condition that these commodities constitute 50% of the cargo taken on-board at the beginning of the coastal leg.
Mandaviya further informed that the Coastal Berth Scheme has been extended up to March, 2020 and till date 39 projects worth Rs.1569 crore has been sanctioned. A discount of minimum 40% is offered by Major Ports on vessel and cargo related charges to vessels carrying coastal cargo. Priority berthing policy for coastal vessels has been notified to reduce turnaround time for coastal vessels and improve their utilization.
To develop a strategy and implementation roadmap for Coastal Shipping of coal and other commodities / product, Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) has been constituted under the Chairmanship of Chairman, Railway Board. In addition to this, a perspective plan has been prepared by Asian Development Bank for Coastal Shipping, the Minister added.
The Minister also shared various movement of major commodities, like coal & thermal coal, coking coal & other coal, iron ore, cement, Iron & Steel, Petroleum Oil & Lubricants (POL) etc. through Coastal Shipping during the last three years