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Feb 20, 2013, 03.37 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Budget 2013-14: Essar wants infra status for shipping industry

The government should grant infrastructure sector status to the shipping industry to boost economic growth, If the industry get infra status, it will not only ensure substantial impact on industrial development growth, but will also attract domestic and global investments.

AR Ramakrishnan
MD, Essar Shipping

The government should grant infrastructure sector status to the shipping industry to boost economic growth, If the industry get infra status, it will not only ensure significant impact on industrial growth, but will also attract domestic and global investments as 100 percent FDI (foreign direct investment) is already allowed in the sector.

Granting infrastructure status would also mean lower borrowing cost to buy technologically advanced ships. It would also mean higher foreign exchange earnings, said Ramakrishnan  The status help the sector with quick regulatory clearances too.

He also pointed out that shipping sector is a vital link in the entire transport system and is still not included in infra category. The need of the hour is to encourage infra-focussed funds into the sector.

Another cause of concern for the sector is seafarer's tax, which needs to be abolished inorder to retain talent. There should also be an exemption from service tax on several inputs also, he said.

There is a need to strengthen regulatory framework to ensure smooth, transparent and hassle-free bidding for awarding public private partnership projects in the sector, he said.

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