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Indian Shipping Ministry Publishes Year-end Review

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

31 December 2008

India's Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways on Monday published a review of activity in the shipping sector during 2008.

Among the key developments throughout the year, according to the Ministry, were the approval by Parliament for the establishment of an Indian Maritime University in Chennai, the granting of ‘Navratna’ status (which gives a business increased operational and financial freedom) to the Shipping Corporation of India, the acquisition of three new ships by SCI, and the approval of a new cruise shipping policy, which is expected, according to the Shipping Ministry, to "carve a prominent space in world tourism and...showcase India as a major source and destination of world tourism".

The Ministry round-up further revealed that:

"The Cruise Shipping Policy was circulated to all the concerned Ministries, stakeholders, Major Port Trusts and Maritime Boards in September this year for taking further necessary steps in implementing the policy."

In the arena of international cooperation, the Ministry announced that:

"A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in February this year with the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management of the Netherlands. Similarly, a trilateral Agreement among India, Brazil and South Africa, signed in October this year, envisages a five-year Action Plan on Maritime transport Project to further strengthen Maritime relations and consolidate them on the basis of quality and mutual benefit."

With regard to the planned creation of two international size shipyards, it revealed that the National Maritime Development Programme will set up two international-sized shipyards. For this purpose the government has nominated Ennore Port Ltd and Mumbai Port as the nodal agencies, which have been authorized to each appoint consultants to identify three or four alternative sites to set up shipyards on the West and East Coasts of India.

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