Indian ports added highest ever capacity in 2015-16: Gadkari

New Delhi: Indian ports sector witnessed the highest-ever capacity addition in fiscal 2015-16 at 94 million tons per annum (MTPA) being added, Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Saturday.

“The financial year 2015-16 has been historic for the port sector in the country, with 94 MTPA capacity added through 34 capital investment projects which is the highest in major ports history,” he said after the second meeting of National Sagarmala Apex Committee (NSAC).

According to Gadkari, Kandla emerged as the first major port to attain 100 million tonnes traffic in a single year, propelled by 20 percent improvement in port efficiency while Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) was the first major port to earn Rs.1,000 crore net profit aided by 12 percent efficiency boost.

“Paradip Port achieved highest coal loading volumes of 24 million tonnes with 30 percent efficiency improvementa.Port efficiency improvement has added 50 MTPA of cargo handling capacity leading to high returns for ports with comparatively low investments,” he said.

Stating the Indian ports are continuing their recovery, the minister noted major ports’ operating profit improved from 27 percent in 2013-14 to 39 percent in 2015-16.

“The major ports have increased their operating profits from Rs.3,593 crore in 2014-15 to Rs.4,268 crore in 2015-16,” he said.

Efficiency improvement reduced logistics cost for trade at the ports and turnaround time fell by 40 percent at Paradip, Tuticorin and Vizag.

Gadkari said projects worth Rs.72,818 crore have been awarded for port modernisation and new port/terminal development.

Emphasising on the need for port and port-led development, he said the forthcoming Maritime India Summit will be a game changer.

“Port-led development has potential for direct employment generation for 40 lakh persons while indirectly for 60 lakh persons,” he added.