The government is striving to make ports a major driver of socio-economic change and aid long term growth trajectory of the economy, Shipping Ministry has said. “With India striving to improve its manufacturing competitiveness with Make in India, the government of India is leaving no stone unturned to make ports the drivers of socio- economic change and aid long term growth trajectory of the economy,” the ministry said in a statement. It said that recent RBI report has acknowledged higher growth in cargo traffic as well as efficiency gains measured in turnaround time at ports which is helping in transforming the Indian economy. “Capacity addition in major ports was the highest ever in a single year and 12 major ports recorded higher growth in cargo traffic as well as efficiency gains measured in turnaround time (3.43 days in 2016-17 as against 3.64 days in the previous year), and average output per ship berth day (14,576 tonnes in 2016-17 as against 13,748 tonnes in the previous year),” the RBI report has said.
The country’s 12 major ports together handled 273.96 million tonnes (MT) of cargo between April to August, 2017 as against 265.31 MT handled during the corresponding period of the previous year, an overall growth of 3.26 per cent. The RBI report has said that the resilience of some infrastructure sectors in the face of this downturn is noteworthy and brightens the outlook. About road sector, the report has said that construction of highway projects has reached an all-time high even as daily additions to the roads constructed touched a peak of 22.6 km during 2016-17 from 16.6 km last year. Also, it said that the stalled projects declined by 40 per cent in terms of value and 37 per cent in terms of number. India has 12 major ports, namely Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, V O Chidambaranar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia), which handle approximately 61 per cent of the country’s total cargo traffic.