Published On:March 19 2016
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Govt to line up USD 19-bn port projects at Maritime Summit.

The Union Shipping and Ports Ministry will showcase 200 projects entailing investment of USD 19 billion at the forthcoming Maritime India Summit here.

'We will be showcasing 200 projects involving investment of USD 19 billion in port development, port connectivity and creating efficiencies at the summit,' Union Shipping and Ports Secretary Rajiv Kumar said here today.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the two-day summit-cum-exhibition on April 14, which is expected to host delegates from 57 countries.

Kumar said the list includes projects already under discussion, like the Rs 10,000-crore satellite port for JNPT planned at Dahanu, northwest of Mumbai, the Rs 7,000-crore international transshipment terminal at Colachel in Tamil Nadu and the Rs 5,000-crore Sagar port in West Bengal.

Kumar further said projects worth over Rs 72,000 crore have already been drawn up and are at various stages of documentation.

Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said there is a need to leverage the potential offered by the over 7,500-km coastline and over 13,000 km of inland waterways in the country to bring logistics costs down, which will in turn make manufacturing competitive.

He said the purpose of the Sagarmala Project, entailing an investment of Rs 2 trillion, is to kick-start a 'port-led development' process which has helped the developed countries in the past. The ministry is targetting to bring down logistics costs to 12 per cent from 18 per cent now, he added.

The ministry is targetting to increase net profit from the 12 major ports, Shipping Corporation, Dredging Corporation and Cochin Shipyard to Rs 10,000 crore in FY17 from around Rs 6,000 crore this fiscal. This money will be invested in upgrading ports, he said.
The ministry has appointed an overseas consultant to

improve efficiencies at the ports, Gadkari said, adding that implementing 30 of its 100 recommendations has already led to a benefit of Rs 1,000 crore.

Stating that the Indore-Manmad rail line will benefit the cargo movement from the hinterland to JNPT, Gadkari said his ministry is willing to fund half of the project cost, while the rest will be borne by Maharashtra.

Under the plan announced by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, the railway ministry and Maharashtra are expected to share the Rs 3,000 crore cost equally, Gadkari said.

Gadkari said efforts by the government will help create one crore jobs in the ports and SEZs being planned near them, and add up to 2 percentage points to the GDP in five years.

BS



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