The Narendra Modi government has given major thrust to improve efficiency and productivity of ports across the country. Now it is reflecting on the report card. The improvement on these areas will give a major boost to India’s sea trade, Indian Express report says. A few days ago, PM Modi had pitched for making the country’s 7,500-km long coastline an engine of growth. The Prime Minister had said India wants to mobilise Rs 1 lakh crore investment to enable port development and invited global community to invest.
The central government-run major ports have seen an improvement in a few of the key operational efficiency metrics. According to Indian Express report, the average ship turnaround time at 12 major ports has come down from 2.61 days to 2.08 days in the last five years. The average ship turnaround time indicates the duration of a vessel’s stay at a port that is calculated from the time of arrival to the time of departure, the report says.
However, Indian ports continue to trail the turnaround time benchmarks at major global ports such as Port Klang, Singapore and Rotterdam, where it’s between one and two days on an average, sometimes even less than a day. In Hong Kong, the average turnaround time, which illustrates the capability of the port to efficiently handle cargo flows at the terminals and measures the difference between time of entrance and time of departure, was less than 10 hours.
According to the report, 12 major ports across the country account for close to 55 per cent of sea trade in the country. The government has identified 116 initiatives for implementation in these ports. 70 have been implemented and remaining would be done by 2019, the report says. For a positive, Nine Ports (Paradip, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, V O Chidambaranar, Cochin, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Mumbai and Kandla) registered growth throughout the first ten months of 2016-17 over the corresponding period last fiscal. However, three Ports — Kolkata, Kamarajar (Ennore) and JNPT registered a downward slide in growth.
Officials at the Ministry of Shipping indicated that the operating surplus in Major Ports surged by nearly 20 per cent from Rs 3,599 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 4,309 crore in 2015-16. The Major Ports are projected to grow at around 15 per cent in 2016-17 with increase in operating surplus, the IE report says.
PM Modi had elaborated on the Centre’s plans for the sector, Modi referred to the shipping ministry showcasing some 250 projects with investment opportunity in the maritime sector. These projects include various infrastructure development opportunities in 12 major ports, projects in eight maritime states and other agencies, of which over 100 projects have been identified under the ambitious Sagarmala programme, a PTI report says.