On Friday, the Parliament was informed that out of the 70 projects — totaling Rs 2,856 crore — that had been approved under the Sagarmala programme, 15 projects worth Rs 849 crore had been finished. The projects have been approved for the construction of passenger jetties, roll-on/roll-off facilities, and coastal docks.
Union Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Sarbananda Sonowal stated in a written response to the Lok Sabha that numerous efforts and projects have been carried out to make it easier for cargo to switch from traditional land-based transit to coastal shipping mode. The Minister said major ports offer coastal cargo vessels a 40% reduction on fees connected to vessels and cargo.
Sonowal added that green channel clearance was put into place to speed up the evacuation of coastal cargo at ports. The minister claims that in order to move cargo more quickly, projects have been identified for improving the first and last miles of rail and road connectivity with all large and minor ports.
According to Sonowal, the GST rate on bunker fuels used by ships flying the Indian flag has been lowered from 18 to 5 per cent. By utilising India’s 7,500 km of coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways, and advantageous location on important international maritime trade routes, the Sagarmala programme aims to promote port-led development in the nation.