While the major ports are equipped to handle the current capacities, the government is working on improving efficiency in handling of liquid cargo.
The Centre plans to implement around 20 projects under Sagarmala worth Rs. 20,000 crore through the Public Private Partnership Model (PPP), according to a government official.
The projects would include the development of jetties and mechanised handling of coal. While the official did not reveal the details of the specific projects, he said the focus of projects would be on improving the efficiency of the existing major ports.
Nearly 95 percent of the trade across borders is through shipping. While the major ports are equipped to handle the current capacities, the government is working on improving efficiency in the handling liquid cargo.
Liquid cargo consisting of crude oil, petroleum products, naphtha and LNG posted an increase of only 1.12 per cent in the April-June quarter.
The Sagarmala programme's focus is on improving port capacity, port connectivity and encouraging industrialisation near major ports. While the project requires Rs 4 lakh crore infrastructure investment, the 2019 budgetary allocation for Sagarmala is a meagre Rs 550 crores. The Centre is looking at private investment to fund these projects.
The budgetary allocation, on the other hand, is utilised for developing small projects such as fishing harbours, developing coastal berths for movement of domestic cargo through inland waterways and training of manpower in the port sector.
Out of the 16 fishing harbours funded by the Ministry of Shipping, the official confirmed that seven have been completed and the remaining are in progress. The completed harbours include Talai and Chettuva in Kerala, Virakwada (Maharashtra), Poompuhar (Tamil Nadu), Amadalli and Malpe (Karnataka), Chinnamuttom (Tamil Nadu).The Ministry also plans to launch a new version of the Port Communications Systems App to facilitate coordination among stakeholders. This would ease the process for customs, payments, environment clearances and other procedures to be cleared when shipments arrive at ports.Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro and gain access to curated markets data, trading recommendations, equity analysis, investment ideas, insights from market gurus and much more. Get Moneycontrol PRO for 1 year at price of 3 months at 289. Use code FREEDOM.