The cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved India’s accession to the Hong Kong Convention on Hong Kong International Convention for Ship Recycling, which will help provide a boost to the ship-wrecking industry in India.
“By this accession, what we bring in is environment protection and workers’ safety are all going to get greater importance,” Sitharaman said at a press briefing here.
“Through that we provide a competitive edge to India,” Sitharaman said.
“By this accession to the Hong Kong International convention, we are bringing in global best practices and we are not becoming a backyard of all rejected ships, but on the contrary scientifically dealing with ship recycling,” she added.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) adopted the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships in 2009, which is aimed at ensuring that ships being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives do not pose any unnecessary risks to human health, safety and to the environment.
As per data available for 2018, India handles around five million gross tonnage (MnGT) annually, which is around 25% share of the world’s ship recycling industry. The government plans to nearly double this by 2024, at around nine MnGT.
The industry being largely concentrated in South Asia, India remains the leading market for ship-wrecking globally, with the Alang-Sosiya ship breaking yard in Gujarat handling around 450 ships every year.
Sitharaman said that the move will allow global funds to come and invest in ship-recycling centres in India.
” A lot of international agencies are also looking at India’s high-class recycling centres,” Sitharaman said.
“By this accession, we hope to get better assistance from these international agencies which are wanting to fund (ship recycling centres),” she added.