ANI Photo | Cargo handling in national waterways has grown by more than 1,700 pc from 2013-14 to 2022-23

Cargo handling in national waterways has grown by more than 1,700 per cent to 126.15 million metric tonnes (MMT) in 2022-23 from 6.83 MMT in 2013-14, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways said on Friday.
Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal who chaired the meeting on the ‘Coastal Shipping Policy’ on Friday in New Delhi said that the ministry has identified a total potential of 1300 MTPA cargo movement by coastal shipping by 2047.
Minister of State for MoPSW Shripad Y Naik along with Members of Parliament Arvind Ganpat Sawant, Hibi Eden, Lalubhai Babubhai Patel, and GK Vasan, Rajya Sabha attended the meeting.
“MoPSW has introduced green channel clearance, First and last mile road and rail connectivity, Sectoral plans for Efficient Logistics (SPEL) under National logistics policy etc. for the promotion of coastal shipping,” the union minister said.
He further said that the Government has taken various projects under the Sagarmala Programme for enhancement of Coastal Cargo handling capacity and facilitation of passenger movement along the coast.
“Five dedicated coastal berths have been developed, creating handling capacity of 6.34 MTPA. Apart from this 10 projects of RoRo/RoPax Jetties, Passenger Jetties etc. worth Rs. 527 Cr crore have also been completed,” said Sonowal.
According to the official statement by the ministry, to facilitate the coastal vessels, the MoPSW has also introduced priority berthing policy and Green channel clearance for faster evacuation of coastal cargo at ports.
A discount of 40 per cent is offered by major ports on vessel and cargo related charges to coastal cargo vessels, the ministry said.
“After looking at the potential the government has also reduced GST on bunker fuels used in Indian Flag Vessels from 18 per cent to 5 per cent,” it added.
Development of agglomeration centres, silo infrastructure, dedicated warehousing facilities and improvement in end-to-end logistics supply chain are also the focus areas of the ministry for promoting coastal sipping further.
Under the National Logistics Policy (NLP) Sectoral Plans for Efficient Logistics (SPEL) being prepared by line ministries (Food, Fertilizer, Steel, Coal, Cement, P&NG etc.) for promotion of sustainable modes of transport like Coastal Shipping and Inland Waterways. Even earmarking of minimum cargo -Public Sector Undertakings (PSU’s) like coal and fertilizers through Coastal Shipping has also been formalised

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