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Economic Survey 2023 pushes for cargo movement through water bodies, ports

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NEW DELHI : Expansion of port capacity and development of Inland Waterways in India over the next few years will be key to lowering logistics costs in India, the Economic Survey for 2022-23, which was tabled in Parliament on January 31, has said.

The Economic Survey, which is an overview of the country’s economy in the year gone by, suggests that the government recognises the cost advantage of moving goods through ports and inland waterways and further elevate inland water transport as a feasible mode for large-scale cargo and passenger movement.

The development of ports is crucial for the economy, as around 90 percent of India’s international trade by volume is handled through ports, said the survey tabled by Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman a day ahead of the Union Budget.

“India possesses abundant rivers, canals, and waterways that carry unrealised potential for the transportation of goods and passengers. The total navigable length of waterways in India is around 14,850 kilometres,” the survey said.

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