India: Year End Review 2009 by Shipping Ministry

by OldSailor on December 31, 2009

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Year End Review 2009 by the Ministry of Shipping, India issued as a press release is given below:

CRUISE SHIPPING POLICY, NEW INLAND WATERWAYS, NAVRATNA STATUS TO SCI HAPPENED TO BE HIGHLIGHTS OF SHIPPING SECTOR

MODEL CONCESSION AGREEMENT, UPFRONT TARIFF FOR PPP PROJECTS & BETTER RAIL ROAD CONNECTIVITY RECEIVED EMPHASIS IN PORT SECTOR

SHIPPING SECTOR

The approval of Cruise Shipping Policy, declaration of new Waterways, ‘Navratna’ status to the Shipping Corporation of India, acquisition of three new ships by SCI, setting up of four new lighthouses along with automation of 30 lighthouses, steps to protect seafarers, steps to set up National Maritime Complex and approval of the Parliament for setting up of Indian Maritime University in Chennai marked the main activities of the Shipping Sector.

Cruise Shipping Policy

During the year 2009, the Government approved Cruise Shipping Policy which is expected to carve a prominent space in world tourism and it would showcase India as a major source and destination of world tourism. The Cruise Shipping Policy was circulated to all the concerned Ministries, Stakeholders, Major Port Trusts and Maritime Boards in September this year for taking further necessary steps in implementing the policy.

Inland Water Transport

Two waterways have been declared as new National Waterways namely: (i) the Kakinada-Puducherry stretch of Canals and the Kaluvelly Tank, Bhadrachalam-Rajahmundry stretch of River Godavari and Wazirabad-Vijayawada stretch of River Krishna (1095 kms) and (ii) the Talcher-Dhamra stretch of river Brahmani, Geonkhali-Charbatia stretch of East Coast Canal, Charbatia-Dhamra stretch of Matai river and Mangalgudi-Paradip stretch of Mahanadi delta rivers (623 Kms). Apart from this, MoU was signed between Indian Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and NTPC for transportation of imported coal IWT mode from Haldia to Farakka/Kahalgaon/Barh through National Waterway. Construction of low level jetty of fixed terminal has been completed at Patna and Pandu (Guwahati). IWAI has ordered eight new dredgers.

Shipping Corporation of India

The Government conferred the much coveted “Navratna status” on the Shipping Corporation of India Ltd (SCI) making it the 17th Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) in the country to join the elite club of Navratna PSUs. Earlier the SCI was ‘Mini Ratna’ Category-I PSU with effect from 24/02/2000. The Company has an ambitious ship acquisition programme of ordering/ acquiring 62 new building ships during the 11th Five Year Plan, which forms part of the National Maritime Development Programme. Presently the Company has total 29 ships on order at various reputed shipyards. During the year, the SCI has taken delivery of 3 new building ships which have been named as follows “SCI Chennai” SCI Mumbai” and M.T. Desh Viraat.

International Cooperation

In order to deepen and expend the cooperation between the two countries in the fields of ports and maritime transport and logistics, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in February this year with the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management of Netherland. Similarly, a trilateral Agreement among India, Brazil and South Africa signed in October this year envisaging a five year Action Plan on Maritime transport Project to further strengthen Maritime relation and consolidate them on the basis of quality and mutual benefit.

Aid to Navigation

Three New Lighthouses at Iskapalipallam (Andhra Pradesh), Satpati (Maharashtra) and Chidiya Tapu (A&N) have been established during the year 2009. Apart from this, automation of Mumbai Lighthouse Region (28 Lighthouses) with five Remote Control Stations have been made functional. Automation of Port Blair Lighthouses Region (30 Lighthouses) with three Remote Control Stations is underway. Bid process for establishment of National AIS Network and automation of Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, Chennai and Cochin are in progress. An amount of Rs.111 crore has been collected as Lighthouse (Revenue) till 30th November, 2009.

Process on for two International Size Shipyards

National Maritime Development Programme has envisaged setting up of two international size shipyards. For this purpose Govt. has nominated Ennore Port Ltd. and Mumbai Port Trust as the nodal agencies for East-Coast and West Coast respectively who have been authorized to appoint consultants to identify three or four alternative sites each for setting up of shipyard on West Coast and East Coast of India and also suggest optimal location with detailed justification. The process for appointment of consultants has been initiated.

Shipbuilding Subsidy

Government has been operating a shipbuilding subsidy scheme for Central Public Sector Shipyards intermittently since 1971 with some gaps and modifications from time to time. The scheme was extended to all the Shipyards including private sector Shipyards, w.e.f. 25th October, 2002. The previous shipbuilding subsidy scheme expired on 14.8.2007. Government of India decided in March, 2009 to liquidate the committed liabilities in respect of shipbuilding subsidy for shipbuilding contracts signed on or before 14.8.2007 for Central Public Sector Shipyards and for shipbuilding contracts signed on 25.10.2002 and before/upto 14.8.2007 i.e. the date of expiry of the previous shipbuilding subsidy scheme for non-central public sector shipyards and private sector shipyards. Revised guidelines dated 29th September, 2009 have been issued by the Ministry.

Indian Maritime University

The Government has established Indian Maritime University (IMU) in Chennai by an Act of Parliament in November, 2008 with campuses at Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and Visakhapatnam. Formation of IMU will facilitate and promote maritime studies, research and extension work. As there are a sizeable number of private institutions imparting maritime education and training, the University will standardize the quality of such education and training through affiliation and academic supervision. The existing seven maritime training and research institutes (Government and Government aided) will be merged with IMU.

Protection of Seafarers

The causalities of Indian Seafarers have been a matter of great concern in the recent time. When casualty occurs, it is obligatory on flag state to carry out investigation under UNCLOS Article 94(7) into every marine casualty or incident of navigation on the high seas involving a ship flying its flag and causing loss of lives and serious injury to nationals of another state. While there may not be much of a problem with the responsible flag states, it becomes difficult with flags of convenience state. The Ministry of Shipping has taken various steps in this regard. The matter has been taken up with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for consolidation of the international conventions with regard to shipping casualty and making the law stringent to bring around the non-responsible flag state to carry out their responsibility. The Government has approved the establishment of Indian Maritime Casualty Emigration Cell in DG (Shipping).

National Maritime Complex

To showcase various facets of Indian Maritime Industry, it is proposed to have a National Maritime Complex at Chennai and a Society has been formed in November, 2008 to fulfill the requirements of maritime sector by providing maritime related and integrated services at a single location.

PORT SECTOR

Model Concession Agreement (MCA)

The Government has finalized a Model Concession Agreement (MCA) to ensure uniformity in the contractual agreements to be entered by the Major Ports with the selected bidders for the Build, Operate & Transfer (BOT) projects to be developed through Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. It will also enable the prospective bidders to have prior knowledge of the contractual obligation of both parties and therefore, ensure transparency.

Upfront Tariff for PPP Projects

For fixing tariffs, the Ministry of Shipping has formulated new Tariff Guidelines. Tariff Authority of Major Ports (TAMP) an autonomous body under the Ministry of Shipping, follows a normative cost based approach for fixing tariffs PPP projects before the bids are finalized. During the year 2009 TAMP has fixed upfront tariff for a number of PPP projects at different Major Ports in the country.

7 PPP projects were awarded upto December, 2009 in various ports. This will inject FDI into the port sector and will result in creation of additional capacity in the ports.

Rail Road Connectivity of Major Ports

The Committee on Infrastructure (COI) headed by the Prime Minister set up a Committee of Secretaries (COS) under the Chairmanship of Member Secretary (Planning Commission) to review the rail road connectivity of Major Ports which recommended that each Major Port should preferably have minimum four lane road and double line rail connectivity and this should be established in fixed time frame.

COS recommended time completion of the eight ongoing rail connectivity projects (Haldia, Paradip-2 projects, NMPT, Kanda -2 projects, JNPT and Tuticorin) and ten ongoing road projects (Haldia, Paradip, Visakhapatnam, Chennai-Ennore, Tuticorin, Cochin, NMPT, Mormugao, JNPT-2 Projects). COS also recommenced five rail connectivity (Kolkata, Mormugao, Haldia, Mumbai and Ennore) and four road connectivity projects ( Kolkata, Paradip, Tuticorin and Cochin). Railways have already completed projects for Rail connectivity to the Major Ports at Haldia, New Mangalore, Kandla and JNPT. The project for Road connectivity to VPT was also completed.

Ennore Port Ltd. (EPL)

The project of Development of Container Terminal at EPL with 1.5 million TEUs Capacity and costing for Rs.1407 crores, on BOT basis has been approved by CCEA. RFP has been issued.

Dredging Corporation of India Ltd. (DCI)

Dredging Corporation of India has a proposal for acquisition of 3 TSHDs at a cost of Rs.1570 crores. The proposal has been considered by PIB. Note for CCI is under consideration.

Developmental Activities to improve connectivity

18.3 Km four-lane Elevated Expressway from Chennai Port to Maduravoyal on National Highway 4 has been approved by the Government recently.

Chennai-Ennore Port Road Connectivity of 29.3 Kms length with an estimated project cost of Rs.309 crores is also underway. A progress of 9.7 per cent in case of Phase I has been completed.

4-laning of Tuticorin-Madurai Road (NH 45 B) with road length of 144 Kms at an estimated cost of Rs.629 crores has been sanctioned, work awarded and Financial Close achieved in January, 2007 and scheduled to be completed by 2010.

Doubling of Madurai-Dindigul Section of railway line connecting Tuticorin Port of 62.06 Kms. Length with estimated project cost of Rs.126 crores has been sanctioned and the work has been awarded. Ambaturai-Kodaikanal road doubling has been merged with his work.

Project Report for Puttur-Attipattu Chord Line connecting Ennore Port 144 Kms Length at an estimated cost of Rs.435 crores is under preparation. Project is sanctioned in Budget 2008-09 on SPV mode with 50 per cent cost sharing with Ennore Port.

Port Operation

Manning Scales were implemented in Major Ports of Paradip, Visakhapatnam, New Mangalore and Cochin. Remaining major ports are in the process of implementing the manning scales with local adjustments, wherever necessary.

Priority berthing was accorded to vessels carrying Sugar and fertilizers in keeping with the directions of Committees of Secretaries. In order to expedite the evacuation of Sugar & pulses from ports, rates of demurrage were hiked steeply. This had a salutary effect on the availability of essential commodities in the market.

The Pay Revision Committee (PRC) for Class I & II employees of Port and Dock Workers has finalized its report. This is shortly being submitted for approval.

Source: Press Information Bureau.

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