Under Sagarmala Programme, various initiatives and projects have been undertaken to facilitate shifting of cargo from conventional land-based transportation to coastal shipping mode. In this regard, the Government has taken following measures to enhance coastal shipping:
(i) Under the Sagarmala Programme, 70 projects worth Rs.2856 crore have been sanctioned for the development of Coastal Berths, Ro-Ro/Ro-Pax Jetties/Passenger Jetties etc. Out of which 15 projects worth Rs. 849 crore have been completed.
(ii) Licensing relaxation under section 407 of the Merchant shipping Act is given to container vessels for carrying EXIM containers and empty containers at transhipment ports for outbound transport; and to foreign flag vessels carrying agricultural, fisheries, horticultural, fertilizers and animal produce commodities subject to the condition that these commodities constitute at least 50% of the cargo on board the ship at the beginning of the coastal leg.
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(iii) A discount of 40% is offered by major ports on vessel and cargo related charges to coastal cargo vessels.
(iv) Priority berthing policy for coastal vessels has been notified to reduce turnaround time for coastal vessels and improve their utilization.
(v) Reduction of GST on bunker fuels used in Indian Flag Vessels from 18% to 5%.
(vi) Green channel clearance introduced for faster evacuation of coastal cargo at ports.
(vii) Allowed reimbursement of freight subsidy on primary movement of subsidized urea and P&K fertilizers by coastal shipping or inland water transportation.
(viii) The projects for improvement in the first and last mile road and rail connectivity with all the major and non-major ports have also been identified for faster cargo movement. Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is working with Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to implement these projects.
The details of the coastal cargo traffic state wise for last three years is as under:
This information was given by the Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
Source: Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways