National maritime policy yet to find an anchor

New Delhi, Jan 1 | Updated: Jan 2 2006, 05:30am hrs
The national maritime policy is yet to be finalised, even though it was framed in August 2004. In fact the policy was pasted on the website of the ministry of shipping, roads and highways and after incorporating the inputs from various stakeholders a modified draft was again put up on the site in February 2005. However, ministry officials say that opinions are still being sought on the policy, and soon it would be ready in its entirety.

Once the ministry prepares a final draft, it would be sent for the Cabinets clearance.

However, there seems to be no clear reason, as to why the policy has not been finetuned. Sources say that even though it has been redrafted once, it is still with the stakeholders and further opinion is being sought from them.

The ministry is already under pressure as there has been a delay in the formulation of the model concession agreement on ports and even the issue of corporatisation of ports has stretched for a year now.

There seems to be a sense of urgency within the ministry, as insiders have confessed about the pressure of not keeping the deadline on the aforementioned issues, specially on the formation of the model concession agreement.