Union Shipping Minister Mansukh Lal Mandaviya on Monday asked officials to come up with an action plan to increase the number of Indian flagged ships, saying it will save around USD 13 billion in forex.
The government earlier this month had invited global vessel owners to flag their ships in India to take advantage of the ‘Make in India’ policy.
Reiterating the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi under ‘AatamNirbhar Bharat’ mission, Mandaviya called for innovation in the ship repairing facilities with world-class infrastructure, as every year approximately 30,000 vessels sail to Indian ports, the shipping ministry said in a statement.
“Mandaviya also directed the officials to come up with the action plan to increase the number of Indian flagged ships, as it will save around USD 13 billion of forex, create additional employment and it will bring freight rates stabilisation at lower level with Indian tonnage,” the statement added.
Earlier, the government had estimated that the Make in India policy will provide an opportunity to at least double the number of Indian flag vessels in the immediate term – from the present approximately 450 to at least 900 and more over a period of 3 years – leaving further scope for additional investment in the Indian flag tonnage.
While chairing a video conference with the representatives of ship-owners association, CMD, Shipping Corporation of India; Director General, Shipping, and senior officials of the Ministry of Shipping, Mandaviya also asked them to come up with a vision to augment ship repairing facilities in India and Indian flagged ships in the world.
The minister asked suggestion from the shipping industry representatives to prepare the robust ecosystem for ship repairing facilities to transform India in a ‘ship repair hub’, the statement said.
The minister also stressed upon the aspects like upskilling the expertise of Indian service engineers, enhancing the yard capacity and maintaining the supply of required spare parts, manufactured indigenously.