‘Govt policy needed for relaxation of Cabotage Law'

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on November 18, 2011

Mr K. Mohandas

The Union Shipping Secretary, Mr K. Mohandas, has declined to give a specific time frame for the relaxation of the Cabotage Law for the International Container Transhipment Terminal at Vallarpadam, saying that there is a need for a Government policy before coming up with any announcement in this regard.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Cochin marine seminar, organised by the Institute of Marine Engineers (India) - Kochi branch, Mr Mohandas said that since it requires a major policy decision, consensus among various ministries are required. Discussions are in progress with various ministries.

The Government is not looking for Cabotage relaxation for not just ICTT but for other major ports also, he added.

He also said that the Indian Ship Owners Association has come up with its strong protest against the relaxation of the Cabotage Law fearing that their business would be badly affected with the entry of foreign ships in the Indian waters.

However, the Shipping Secretary stressed the need for allowing foreign ships to engage in coastal trading in Indian waters as there was huge potential in the sector.

Referring to the ongoing tussle between the Kochi Customs and the SEZ officials over the operational role in the ICTT, Mr Mohandas pointed out that the Government would soon come out with a solution.

The Government is trying to find out a solution by making necessary changes in the laws applicable for both the departments for their smooth functioning. This is for the first time that a port is functioning under SEZ in the country and there were some legal tangles on operational roles.

The SEZ has its own rules and regulations, he added.

Published on November 18, 2011
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