NEW DELHI : With only 10 per cent of export cargo moving through Indian flagged shipping vessels, a parliamentary panel has strongly suggested to have an Indian shipping liner of global repute.
The House panel has asked the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways to work out fiscal incentives for creating a mega shipping company.
“With the clarion call of Atmanirbhar Bharat, the Committee strongly opines that an Indian Shipping line of global repute is the need of the hour,” said Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce in its report to augment infrastructure facilities to boost exports.
The report noted that only 467 domestic vessels with a gross tonnage of 11.42 million tonnes are available for movement of exim trade.
As per official data, the total number of ships under Indian flag is 1,488 with gross tonnage of 12.96 million tonnes. Out of these, the number of vessels plying on coastal waters of India (domestic fleet) is 1,021 with gross tonnage of 1.54 million tonnes and the number of foreign going ships is 467 with a gross tonnage of 11.42 million tonnes.
The Merchant Shipping Act allows registration of mechanically propelled sea-going vessels. Such vessels are free to operate within Indian coastal waters (domestic trade) or for foreign trade based on certificates of the vessel and compliance of applicable international conventions.
Every Indian vessel is allowed to operate in coastal waters for domestic trade, which meets the purpose of operation of domestic shipping lines