India aims to construct seven new ports for 350 billion rupees ($7.6bn) by 2017 to support the nation’s plan to more than triple merchandise exports.“The government has to lead the way in creating port capacity given the growth in trade,” Rakesh Srivastava, joint secretary at the Ministry of Shipping, said Monday in a telephone interview in New Delhi.
“Private sector is welcome, but the government won’t give up its responsibility.”
About two-thirds of the funds for the new facilities will be raised from private sector, he said. APM Terminals, the container-terminal arm of AP Moeller-Maersk, and Dubai-based DP World are among the companies that have invested in ports in India to benefit from a surge in trade.The government has sent the proposal for the new ports to seven Indian states, Srivastava said without specifying a timeframe for starting the projects. The plan requires the states to set aside about 2,500 acres of land for each harbour.
“More ports will definitely help remove trade bottlenecks,” said Rahul R. Pathak, principal consultant at Mumbai-based Mantrana Maritime Advisory, which provides consulting to shipping lines and port operators. “But the government has to ensure that they all don’t end up competing for the same basket of goods.”
India currently has 13 so-called major ports that are administered by the federal government. They together handled 561 million tons of cargo in the year ended in March 2010, according to official data.The government plans to boost the major ports’ annual capacity to 1.46 billion tons by March 2020 from 616.7 million tons as of March, 2010, according to the shipping ministry. About 90 percent of India’s international trade by volume is carried through sea.
Asia’s third-largest economy aims to triple its merchandise exports to $750bn by March 2017 from $225bn last year, according to the trade ministry.
From / Arabian Business News