Aim for 50 percent of total cargo exports, imports through Indian shipping firms: Rajnath Singh

Mumbai: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday asked the Indian Maritime Sector to aim for 50 percent of total cargo exports and imports through Indian shipping companies and with ships built in India.

Addressing the valedictory function of ‘ Maritime India Summit’, he asked the maritime sector to target achieving 30 percent of world GDP as India used to have during ancient era.

He asked the shipping ministry and other stakeholders to make the maritime sector dynamic to be a torchbearer for inward investments into the country.

Referring to the ambitious ‘Sagarmala’ project, the Home Minister said the completion of ‘Jal Marg Vikas’ project in next three years will improve navigability of waterways.

He said interconnecting coastal and inland waterways and developing last mile connectivity between ports and industrial clusters holds key for making the project a reality.

On the occasion, Shipping and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari announced that two crore jobs will be created in next five years and increase share of water trade to 3 percent of the GDP in growth rate through port and port connectivity projects.

Announcing a slew of socio economic development measures for community development, he said groups of fishermen will be given subsidised funding for purchasing fishing trawlers and processing hubs will be setup near ports to further support them.

He exuded confidence that Rs. 12 lakh crore investments are expected in the port centric development projects during next five years out of which Rs. 80,000 crore investments will be made confirmed by May 26.

He added that works will start on all the projects under Sagarmala in two years.

He said Rs. 50,000 rupees have been given to Cochin Shipyard on nomination basis for shipbuilding.

Shipping Secretary Rajiv Kumar said the Summit witnessed participation of 5,000 delegates from 42 countries, in addition to the proactive participation of a number of Central Ministers. About 80 experts and senior officials spoke during 13 thematic sessions.

A total 148 MoUs worth around Rs.83,000 crore have been singed between Public and private maritime players during the two-day summit.

The Secretary said an Investment Facilitation Centre has been set up under the Ministry to materialise these MoUs.

The first ever DP World Maritime Award has been presented to the Sagar Defence Engineerings for its innovative mechanism to assess radiation of submerged Nuclear and Thermal Power Power Units. (ANI)