The government’s focus areas include up-gradation of existing infrastructure, creating next-generation infrastructure and boosting reforms

Inviting the world to come to India and be a part of India’s growth trajectory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said India is very serious about growing in the maritime sector and emerging as a leading Blue Economy of the world.

Speaking at the inauguration of the ‘Maritime India Summit 2021’, the Prime Minister explained that the union government’s leading focus areas include up-gradation of existing infrastructure, creating next-generation infrastructure and boosting the reform journey.

Through these steps, the government aims to give strength to the vision of AatmaNirbhar Bharat, he added.

Pointing out the change in approach of the government from a piecemeal approach to an approach focusing upon the entire sector as one, Prime Minister Modi informed that the capacity of major ports had increased from 870 million tonnes in 2014 to 1,550 million tonnes now.

Today, Indian ports were equipped with Direct Port Delivery, Direct Port Entry and an upgraded Port Community System (PCS) for easy data flow as a consequence of which they had reduced waiting time for inbound and outbound cargo, he explained.

He also informed that mega ports with world class infrastructure were being developed in Vadhavan, Paradip and Deendayal Port in Kandla.

The Prime Minister asserted, “Ours is a Government that is investing in waterways in a way that was never seen before. Domestic waterways are found to be cost effective and environment friendly ways of transporting freight. We aim to operationalise 23 waterways by 2030.”

Informing the delegates that the Ministry of Port Shipping and Waterways has created a list of 400 investable projects, Modi recounted that these projects have an investment potential of $ 31 billion or Rs 2.25 lakh crores.

Talking about the projects undertaken by the government’s Sagarmala programme for promoting port led development, the Prime Minister informed that more than 574 projects at a cost of 82 billion US Dollars or Rs 6 lakh crores had been identified for implementation during 2015 to 2035.

He added that ship repair clusters would be developed along both coasts by 2022 and that the domestic ship recycling industry would also be promoted to create 'Wealth from Waste'. In this context, he mentioned that India had enacted the Recycling of Ships Act, 2019 and agreed to the Hong Kong International Convention.

The Prime Minister expressed the desire to share best practices with the world and to learn from global best practices.

Continuing with India’s focus on trade and economic linkages with the BIMSTEC and IOR nations, India planned to enhance investment in infrastructure and facilitate mutual agreements by 2026, he said.

The Prime Minister said that the Government had initiated holistic development of island infrastructure and ecosystem. Adding that the government was keen to promote use of renewable energy in the maritime sector, he said that it was in the process of installing solar and wind-based power systems at all the major ports of the country.

The inaugural session of the three-day Maritime India Summit 2021 was attended by Denmark’s Minister of Transport Benny Englebrecht. The Chief Ministers of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, and Union Ministers Dharmentdra Pradhan and Mansukh Mandaviya were present on the occasion.