Indian Navy representatives feel that the scope of employing retired naval personnel in merchant vessels should be explored to overcome shortage of officers.

Our Bureau

Kolkata, Aug. 12 The 110th meeting of the National Shipping Board was held at Paradip port on Tuesday. This was the last meeting of the present board.

The two major issues that came up for discussion included the need for having more ship-building facilities in the country and the waiver of income-tax for the seafarers working on board Indian flag carriers.

The senior officials of Cochin Shipyard and Bharti Shipyard made presentations before the members of NSB highlighting the present State of the country’s ship-building sector as well the opportunities and the challenges before it.

Private participation

It might be noted that the Government is keen to have ship-building activities developed on both east and west coasts, preferably with private sector participation.

The issue of the waiver of income-tax for seafarers employed on board Indian vessels, it was felt, had been hanging for a long time and an early decision on it should brook no delay.

It was, therefore, decided that NSB would take it up with the Shipping Minister for an early decision.

The problem caused by the shortage of marine officers also surfaced and the representatives of the Indian Navy felt that the scope of employing retired naval personnel in merchant vessels should be explored.

Mr Santosh Nautiyal, Chairman, NSB, presided over the meeting. Mr S. Hajara, CMD, Shipping Corporation of India; Mr P.S. Gadhavi, MP, Lok Sabha; Mr C. Balakrishnan, Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser, Ministry of Shipping; Mr Surendra Pal Gaur, Chairman of Inland Waterways Authority of India; Capt H. Khatri, Deputy Director General of Shipping; Mr K. Raghuramaiah, Chairman, Paradip Port Trust; Mr S.S. Kulkarni, Secretary General, Indian National Shipowners’ Association, the senior officials of several shipyards and the representatives of the seafarers’ unions, among others, were present.

New TAMP chief

Inquiries revealed that Mr Nautiyal would soon take over as the Chairman of Tariff Authority for Major Ports. Capt P.V.K. Mohan, currently Chairman of Hyderabad-based Seaways Shipping, a private shipping company, and also a member of the present NSB, might take over as the new Chairman of the reconstituted NSB, it is learnt.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 13, 2008)
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