In the last seven years, initiatives in the Sagarmala Programme
to increase the capacity of ports by infrastructure modernisation and improving
the connectivity have helped in lowering the overall cost of ports; reducing
turnaround time for vessels; increasing efficiency and providing the ability to
handle larger ships and developing strategic importance of Indian ports in the
South Asian region.
It is the results of these efforts in
ports that helped India to achieve the $400 billion of goods exports — a record
in 2021-22, said the Union
Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shri Sarbananda Sonowal.
Centre’s ambitious Sagarmala Programme aims to promote port-led development,
and accelerate economic growth in the country by reducing the logistics cost
for both domestic and international cargo with requisite infrastructure
investment, he said at the 24th Biennial Convention of the Federation
of Freight Forwarders Association in India.
This is the apex body representing 28
member-associations from across the country representing 6,500 Customs brokers
(employing over 1,10,000 people).
Minister’s Gati Shakthi National Master Plan to provide multi-modal
connectivity to various Special Economic Zones for seamless movement of people;
goods and services resulting in efficient conduct of logistics and economic
activities. Under this initiative, the Ministry of Ports and Shipping and
Waterways has identified 101 projects worth ₹62,637 crore for implementation by
2024, he said.
The minister said the freight
forwarders are major stakeholders in India’s EXIM and domestic cargo handling. Their role in moving the country’s
economy forward is tremendous and is a huge strength behind the PM Gati Shakti
initiative, said Sarbananda Sonowal,
“Your suggestion of making India
Atmanirbhar Bharat in the shipping industry by possessing our container
shipping line and improving container availability to shipping is well noted,”