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Sarbananda Sonowal’s Productive Pre-Budget Meeting with Ports-Shipping and Waterways Stakeholders

Sarbananda Sonowal's Productive Pre-Budget Meeting with Ports-Shipping and Waterways Stakeholders

Sarbananda Sonowal’s Productive Pre-Budget Meeting with Ports-Shipping and Waterways Stakeholders

In a move that underscores the government’s commitment to fostering a robust and sustainable maritime sector, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, held a highly productive pre-budget meeting with a diverse group of stakeholders. The meeting, which took place in New Delhi, was a significant step in the ministry’s ongoing efforts to gather valuable insights and suggestions that will aid in the formulation of an inclusive and growth-oriented budget.

Encouraging Collaboration for Nation Building

Shri Sarbananda Sonowal set the tone for the meeting by emphasizing the importance of collaboration and open dialogue. He encouraged all stakeholders present to share their suggestions and ideas, highlighting that their input is crucial for the betterment of the nation. This approach is in line with the ministry’s broader objective of developing a sustainable and world-class maritime and inland waterways infrastructure, which is essential for enhancing EXIM trade and supporting economic growth.

“The enthusiastic participation and valuable contributions from our stakeholders are truly commendable. This interaction has provided the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways with insightful perspectives that will undoubtedly help in shaping a more inclusive and growth-oriented budget,” said Shri Sarbananda Sonowal. “This is aligned with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s ambitious vision of MIV 2030 and Amrit Kaal Vision 2047.”

Strategic Initiatives to Strengthen the Maritime Sector

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways is spearheading several strategic initiatives aimed at strengthening India’s maritime sector. These initiatives are focused on creating sustainable and world-class infrastructure, which is pivotal for the nation’s economic growth and environmental sustainability.

One of the key initiatives is the Sagarmala Programme, which involves projects worth ₹5100 crore. This programme aims to enhance the performance of the country’s logistics sector through the modernization of ports, efficient evacuation systems, and the development of coastal communities. Additionally, the Shipbuilding Financial Assistance Policy is designed to support shipyards, fostering the growth of the shipbuilding industry in India.

The Harit Nauka initiative is another significant step towards promoting green fuel transportation in inland waterways. This initiative aims to reduce the environmental impact of maritime transport by encouraging the use of eco-friendly fuels. The Maritime Development Fund (MDF) and Ship Owning and Leasing Entity (SOLE) are financial instruments that will support ship acquisition and boost Indian ownership in the maritime sector.

Major projects such as the Vadhavan Mega Transshipment Port and Galathea Bay Transshipment Port are expected to generate significant employment opportunities and increase handling capacities. The Cruise India Mission seeks to triple the country’s cruise traffic, enhancing its appeal as a global maritime hub. Additionally, the Odisha Waterway Development project is exploring the feasibility of transporting cargo through National Waterway 5 (NW5), further strengthening the country’s inland waterway network.

Policy Reforms and Green Initiatives

Policy reforms in tax and GST, along with support for shipbuilding and green initiatives, underscore the ministry’s commitment to economic growth and environmental sustainability. These reforms are aimed at enhancing India’s competitiveness in the global maritime sector.

“The government’s focus is on building a robust maritime ecosystem that supports economic growth and environmental sustainability. With projects like the Vadhavan Mega Transshipment Port and the Cruise India Mission, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways is poised to make India a global maritime hub,” added Shri Sarbananda Sonowal.

Aligning with MIV 2030 and Amrit Kaal Vision 2047

The discussions during the meeting were centered on identifying growth opportunities, addressing challenges, and exploring innovative solutions to advance the country. This aligns with the MIV 2030 Vision, which aims to make India a $5 trillion economy, and the Amrit Kaal Vision 2047, which envisions India as a developed nation with a robust economy, vibrant culture, prominent global presence, and a thriving shipping sector.

Active Participation from Diverse Stakeholders

The meeting witnessed active participation from more than 150 stakeholders, both in-person and online. These stakeholders represented a wide range of sectors, including Major Ports, the Shipping sector, the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), the Directorate General of Shipping (DG Shipping), and several industry associations and companies. Notable participants included representatives from FICCI, CII, the National Union of Seafarers of India, Assocham, the Shipyard Association of India, Maersk, DP World, JM Baxi, TCI Seaways, and MSC.

All stakeholders shared their views on crucial issues such as economic growth, infrastructure development, and environmental sustainability. Their feedback and suggestions are expected to play a vital role in shaping the upcoming budget.

A Step Towards Achieving Visionary Goals

The pre-budget meeting with stakeholders highlights the government’s commitment to engaging with diverse groups and ensuring their voices are heard. The feedback and suggestions gathered during the meeting will be crucial in shaping the upcoming budget, ultimately contributing to the nation’s progress and prosperity.

As India strives towards achieving its visionary goals, such as the MIV 2030 and Amrit Kaal Vision 2047, the role of the maritime sector cannot be overstated. A robust and sustainable maritime ecosystem is essential for economic growth, environmental sustainability, and the country’s overall development.

Enhancing EXIM Trade and Supporting Economic Growth

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways is committed to developing sustainable, world-class maritime and inland waterways infrastructure to enhance EXIM trade and support economic growth. This commitment is reflected in the various initiatives and projects that the ministry is spearheading.

The Sagarmala Programme, for instance, aims to improve the efficiency of the country’s logistics sector by modernizing ports and enhancing connectivity. This will not only reduce logistics costs but also boost the competitiveness of Indian products in the global market.

Similarly, the Shipbuilding Financial Assistance Policy is designed to support the growth of the shipbuilding industry in India. By providing financial assistance to shipyards, the policy aims to enhance their capacity and capability, making India a prominent player in the global shipbuilding market.

Promoting Green Fuel Transportation

The Harit Nauka initiative is a key step towards promoting green fuel transportation in inland waterways. By encouraging the use of eco-friendly fuels, the initiative aims to reduce the environmental impact of maritime transport. This is in line with the government’s broader objective of promoting sustainable development and environmental sustainability.

The Maritime Development Fund (MDF) and Ship Owning and Leasing Entity (SOLE) are financial instruments that will support ship acquisition and boost Indian ownership in the maritime sector. These initiatives are expected to enhance the country’s shipping capacity and strengthen its position in the global maritime market.

Major Projects to Generate Employment and Increase Handling Capacities

Major projects such as the Vadhavan Mega Transshipment Port and Galathea Bay Transshipment Port are expected to generate significant employment opportunities and increase handling capacities. These projects are part of the ministry’s broader strategy to develop world-class port infrastructure and enhance the country’s maritime capabilities.

The Cruise India Mission seeks to triple the country’s cruise traffic, enhancing its appeal as a global maritime hub. By promoting cruise tourism, the mission aims to boost the country’s tourism sector and generate additional revenue.

Exploring the Feasibility of Transporting Cargo through NW5

The Odisha Waterway Development project is exploring the feasibility of transporting cargo through National Waterway 5 (NW5). This project aims to enhance the efficiency of the country’s inland waterway network and reduce logistics costs. By developing alternative modes of transport, the project will also contribute to the government’s efforts to promote sustainable development.

Policy Reforms to Enhance Competitiveness

Policy reforms in tax and GST, along with support for shipbuilding and green initiatives, underscore the ministry’s commitment to economic growth and environmental sustainability. These reforms are aimed at enhancing India’s competitiveness in the global maritime sector.

The ministry’s focus on policy reforms is evident in its efforts to create a conducive environment for the growth of the maritime sector. By addressing key challenges and promoting innovative solutions, the ministry aims to enhance the sector’s competitiveness and contribute to the country’s overall economic growth.

Building a Robust Maritime Ecosystem

“The government’s focus is on building a robust maritime ecosystem that supports economic growth and environmental sustainability. With projects like the Vadhavan Mega Transshipment Port and the Cruise India Mission, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways is poised to make India a global maritime hub,” added Shri Sarbananda Sonowal.

A Vision for the Future

The discussions during the meeting were centred on identifying growth opportunities, addressing challenges, and exploring innovative solutions to advance the country. This aligns with the MIV 2030 Vision, which aims to make India a $5 trillion economy, and the Amrit Kaal Vision 2047, which envisions India as a developed nation with a robust economy, vibrant culture, prominent global presence, and a thriving shipping sector.

Engaging with Diverse Groups

The pre-budget meeting with stakeholders highlights the government’s commitment to engaging with diverse groups and ensuring their voices are heard. The feedback and suggestions gathered during the meeting will be crucial in shaping the upcoming budget, ultimately contributing to the nation’s progress and prosperity.

Conclusion

As India strives towards achieving its visionary goals, the role of the maritime sector cannot be overstated. A robust and sustainable maritime ecosystem is essential for economic growth, environmental sustainability, and the country’s overall development. The Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, under the leadership of Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, is committed to creating an inclusive and growth-oriented budget that reflects the aspirations and needs of all stakeholders. Through strategic initiatives, policy reforms, and active engagement with stakeholders, the ministry is poised to make significant strides in transforming India’s maritime sector and positioning the country as a global maritime hub.

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