Our Bureau

Mangalore, Jan. 27

The Director General of Shipping, Dr Satish B. Agnihotri, has stressed the need for giving certain incentives for the growth of coastal shipping in the country. Dr Agnihotri submitted the draft Coastal Shipping Policy to the Government recently.

In an informal chat with presspersons on the sidelines of the inauguration of the residential complex of MMD (Mercantile Marine Department) here on Wednesday, he said that the policy has broken suggestions into specific categories to be implemented in specific time-frame.

The policy states what each agency – such as directorate, ministry and others – can do in the specified time frames like the current fiscal, within the Plan period, and beyond that.

Stating that coastal shipping cannot be a standalone activity, he said it is a part of a logistic chain.

“We have said that we have to look at integration part also,” he said.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Highlighting the role of infrastructure in coastal shipping, he said the policy has suggested subsidies for the establishment of jetties.

“When you are talking about jetties, you are committing yourself a certain amount of cargo,” he said. If the ships are adopting LNG as a fuel, then they should be given subsidy for retrofitting.

Stressing the need for the establishment of ‘Logistics Corporation of India', he said organisations such as Central Warehousing Corporation, Concor, and Shipping Corporation of India should come together and form a Logistics Corporation of India'.

“My dream is that eventually, even the private sector should have such a corporation. But I expect the public sector to take the lead. If that succeeds, then eventually private sector will come in,” he said.

River-sea vessel

He said the recent River-sea Vessel notification of the directorate focuses on the seamless movement of vessels from inland water to near sea to cross ocean.

“In India, what happens is that there are vessels that ply on the inland water, that ply on the near coast and that ply cross ocean. There was a need to bring in an arrangement where the vessel can move from one group to another.

“River-sea vessel notification bridges this gap. We are also trying to bring in some kind of electronic governance,” he said.

Dr Agnihotri termed it as the ‘regulator losening its control without losing the control'.

Dr Agnihotri also inaugurated the Karnataka chapter of the Institute of Marine Engineers (India) on the occasion.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 28, 2011)
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