India’s cargo handling in major ports up
There has been a revival of the trade as exports are recovering into a positive territory during the current year, according to Mr GK Vasan, Minister of Shipping, Government of India. The Minister further informed that India’s cargo handling in major ports was up 5.1% in April-December, 2009 as against the same period a year ago.
The increased global competition in international trade has made it imperative that we pay much greater attention to developing world class infrastructure at our ports and support the shipping industry in facing these challenges. Ports handle around 95% of India’s total trade in terms of volume and 70% in terms of value.
The Minister pointed out that India has been fortunate to remain relatively unscathed from the worst consequences of the global recession but the country should remain cautious in its economic management.
The focus in the Eleventh Five Year Plan for the port sector has been to develop ports and related infrastructure to bring them to international standards in various port efficiency parameters. These include, among others, turn around time, and economy of import and export of cargoes, and augmenting traffic capacity at major and minor ports.
The Minister said that the Ministry of Shipping has finalized a National Maritime Development Programme (NMDP) to implement specific programmes and schemes for the development of the port and the shipping sectors. Under this programme, specific projects are being taken up for implementation over a period upto 2011-2012. The total investment envisaged under NMDP is over Rs one lakh crore. Out of this, Rs 55,804 crore is for the port sector and the balance is for the shipping and inland waterways sectors.
The Minister was speaking at The Partnership Summit 2010, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).