GANDHINAGAR : India has made significant strides in the global maritime arena and the country will soon become a world leader in the key sector, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shri Sarbananda Sonowal said on Thursday. He highlighted the importance of Port-Led Industrialisation in employment generation and overall development.
Sonowal was addressing dignitaries and experts at a seminar on ‘Port-Led City Development’ at Mahatma Mandir convention centre in Gujarat’s capital Gandhinagar on the second day of Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit-2024.
“India has made significant strides in the global maritime arena. Port-led industrialisation is a strategic approach that aims to optimise logistic cost by strategically placing industries in close proximity to ports. On one hand, it directly contributes to an increase in port traffic, on the other it also serves as a catalyst for significant employment generation,” he said.
“Be it port development, ship building, creation of a pool of quality seafarers or ship recycling, India is on way to becoming a global maritime leader soon,” Sonowal maintained.
Citing the latest World Economic League Table report, the Union minster said India will emerge as the top economic superpower by the end of the century, overtaking the US and China, currently the world’s No. 1 and 2 economy, respectively, after 2080. He said Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has laid the foundation for India to become a developed nation before the middle of this century.
“Our honourable Prime Minister has laid a strong foundation for a developed India. As a result of this, India will be a developed nation with a USD 35 trillion economy by 2047, out of which, Gujarat alone will be a USD 3 trillion economy,” he said in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Bhupendra Patel. Under the Sagarmala programme launched by PM Modi, a total of 14 projects worth Rs 55,800 crore have been identified for implementation under the port-led industrialisation initiative. Of these, nine projects worth Rs 45,800 crore have been completed, he informed the audience.
The Union minister said PM Gati Shakti Masterplan for Multimodal Connectivity and National Logistics Policy have vastly improved the logistic road map of the nation and assisted in speedy port-led industrialisation and urban development.
“Major ports have also undertaken an exercise of industrialising the land available with them. A total of 8,000 acres of land at major ports has been developed for industrialisation with potential to generate more than 2 lakhs direct and indirect employment opportunities,” he said.
At the Global Maritime India Summit (GMIS-2023), inaugurated by the PM in October last year, the country attracted an investment of more than Rs 10 lakh crore, which revealed its true potential in the sector, said Sonowal.
“The World Bank Logistics Performance Index report reveals India’s ranking has jumped from the 54th position to the 38the position in 2022, showcasing our enhanced efficiency and competitiveness. Our ports have witnessed double-digit annual growth. We have soared from the 44th position to the 22nd position in the international shipment category,” the Union minister maintained.
India is looking at increasing it exports 15-fold to USD 7.5 trillion in the next 23 years, he said. “Our aim under the maritime ‘Amrit Kaal Vision 2047’ is ambitious — to boost our exports 15-fold to USD 7.5 trillion. We aim to enhance our port capacity to handle approximately 10,000 million tonnes annually, a six-fold increase from the current levels,” Sonowal added.