The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) told the media that the government has identified around 400 ports and shipping projects valued over Rs 2 lakh crore that will be offered for investment to the private sector.
These projects will be taken up on a public private partnership (PPP) basis, said the ports ministry and there will be a provision of viability gap funding (VGF).
As part of the Maritime India Summit 2021, the Cochin Port Trust recently signed three MoUs last week with stakeholders for developing a free trade warehousing zone (FTWZ), a cryogenic warehouse, and an aviation fuel terminal.
The summit aims to explore the potential business opportunities in the Indian maritime sector and the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme. A slew of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) in the ports and shipping sector is under consideration.
In the Budget 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced seven port projects worth over Rs 2,000 crore to be undertaken through the PPP model.
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The government has come up with the Maritime India Vision 2030, and more than 50 initiatives have been identified to ensure smart operations of ports. Additionally, the government is looking at building maritime industrial clusters, port cities, green and sustainable water transport are the areas being looked at.
The Maritime India Summit, 2021, will also seek investment in the Chabahar port, developed by India, in Afghanistan. The ministry cited the Chabahar port as an important investment of India linking to Afghanistan.
Till the end of January, 123 vessels have operated at the port handling 14,000 TEUs of the container, and 18,000 lakh tonnes of bulk cargo has been handled at the port. India has sent pesticide, wheat, and other consignments to Afghanistan.
India plans to leverage investments from domestic and international investors in the Chabahar port during the summit.
Currently, India has 12 major ports under the control of the central government—Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), Paradip, Kolkata (including Haldia) and VO Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam.
Also read: Maritime India Summit to be held virtually
Also read: Parliament passes landmark Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020