While addressing the Regional Editors Conference in Chandigarh, the Minister for Road Transport Highways & Shipping, Nitin Gadkari, gave an overview of his ministry´s achievements as well as plans for future growth.
Beginning with shipping, he said that while ports around the world had faced losses, Indian ports had shown a growth of 2.6 per cent, earning profits of nearly Rs.6,000 crore. At present, the country has 12 major ports and there are plans to add six more. The minister briefly touched upon the Sagarmala Project whose port-led economic growth intends to give a boost to the coastal economy, as it would develop manufacturing hubs as well as promote fishing. Gadkari said that according to experts, the Sagarmala industrial clusters will attract investment of Rs.8 lakh crore.
He said that it is necessary to increase the draft capacity of Indian ports to enable larger ships to dock, so as to increase the transportation capacity and reduce commercial cost.