Industry watchers suggest Andhra Pradesh government to set up a state maritime board (SMB) in order to boost the port and shipping sector in the state.
There are 12 minor ports and one major port in the state. Earlier in 2010, the state government introduced a draft Bill for a maritime board in the Assembly. But the proposal eventually lapsed as it did not come up for discussion.
Again in February 2013, the proposal was considered by the state Minister for investment, infrastructure and ports Ganta Srinivasa Rao.
Besides arranging financial assistance for port infrastructure, a maritime board must take up development projects including construction of wharves and quays.
The board is intended to provide an integral approach on key issues such as multi-modal transport, tourism, ship repair and building among others. This would also enable it to become a self-sustaining, revenue generating entity, experts feel.
While setting up such a board, the state government must ensure that it is adequately staffed and maritime safety and disaster management gets extra focus.