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Shipping may get infra tag in boost for shipbuilding, vessel owners

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NEW DELHI : The Union Government is working on a plan to grant infrastructure status to the shipping industry, including coastal shipping, two people aware of the development said. The move aims to promote ownership and construction of vessels in the country.

A proposal in the works will allow shipping entities to secure earlier financial access from commercial banks with long-term repayment periods at low-interest rates.

Shipyards were granted infrastructure status since 2016, enabling them to avail of flexible structuring of long-term project loans at lower interest rates for tenures equivalent to the economic life of their assets. This also means shipbuilders can issue infrastructure bonds to meet working capital requirements and enjoy tax benefits. However, this status remains closed to the shipping industry, depriving shippers who need long-term funds to purchase vessels and support domestic shipbuilding with bigger orders.

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