Mar 30, 2016, 10.19 PM | Source: PTI
To promote coastal shipping in the country and boost trade, the government today announced setting up a special shipping cell to address issues impeding the growth potential of the sector.
The development assumes significance as the government is eyeing annual savings of Rs 25,000 crore on logistics cost by 2025 by promoting coastal shipping under its ambitious Sagarmala Project.
"We have assured the end users that the newly-created coastal shipping cell of the Shipping Ministry will address all issues which are impeding the potential of coastal shipping," Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said after chairing a high-level meeting here.
"To unleash the potential of coastal shipping, met various stakeholders like end users, port operators and shippers to understand the challenges they faced," he said.
Sagar Mala aims at promoting port-led development by harnessing the country's 7,500-km long coastline, 14,500-km of potentially navigable waterways and strategic location on key international maritime trade routes.
Government has identified over 150 projects under Sagar Mala. It expects to mobilise more than Rs 4 lakh crore of investment, besides creation of 1 crore new jobs, including 40 lakh direct jobs, in the next 10 years.
These projects have been identified across the areas of port modernisation and new port development, port connectivity enhancement, port-led industrial development and coastal community development.
The Cabinet approved Sagar Mala project last year.
Meanwhile, a decision has also been taken to set up an inter-ministerial task force to promote electric mobility in the country.
"Discussed the evolving energy mix of transportation with an emphasis on promoting electric mobility in the country... We have agreed to constitute an inter-ministerial task force to draw the roadmap for electric mobility," the Minister said.
The meeting chaired by Gadkari was attended by Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal.