The Government of India has revealed new plans to boost its coastal shipping and cruise tourism industries in an effort to spark develop in its coastal regions.
The new scheme was unveiled during the 16th meeting of the the Maritime States Development Council held Monday and hosted by the Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, Mr. Shri Nitin Gadkari.
During the meeting, the Central Government approved plans to provide assistance to the domestic shipbuilding industry, as well as to maritime training through the opening of a new maritime university. The government will also offer subsidies to individual States for the construction of jetties, passenger amenities and berths for coastal and inland ships in ‘non-major’ and private ports.
Minister Gadkari added that the government has decided to open up 7 new major ports in addition to the country’s existing 12 major ports. Construction on two ports has already started, the Minister said.
After the meeting, Minister Gadkari released a ‘vision document’ for Coastal Shipping, Tourism and Regional Development that sets the goal of increasing the share of coastal shipping to 10% of the overall transportation of domestic trade by 2019-2020 through action items such as the subsidies and the promotion of cruise tourism.
The new plans have now been sent to the Union cabinet for approval.