The Maharashtra Maritime policy under finalization by the state government has plans to offer incentives including land on lease for Marinas, Ship building and repairing, ship recycling facilities, sea planes and cruises. The five year policy is likely to be cleared by the state cabinet soon media reports said
The facilities will be on par with the ones offered by the neighboring Gujarat which leads the Maritime Industry in the country having five large ports and any number of container terminals. Mundra Port is the largest port in the country while in the public sector category Kandla Port is one of the leaders. In the case of Maharashtra JNPA is their jewel with five large container terminals, is the largest container port among government owned ports. Shipping ministry is pushing vigorously for a Mega terminal port at Vadavan as satellite port of JNPA..Industry sources between the Ports in Gujarat and Maharashtra handle nearly seventy per cent of the cargo bound for India.
Maharastra’s draft Maritime policy has several innovative features like concessions on the waterfront royalties and encouragement of water front activities. It has also proposed to offer priority docking for cruise vessels at ports and jetties, along with concessions on ports charges. There is also a concession on passenger tickets for cruises for three years.
As part of its coastal recreation drive, the policy has proposed the development of lighthouses and tourist heritage destinations by helping cruise operators to partner with other operators for activities like water sports and guided tours at onshore sites.
“The Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) will encourage the operation of floatels, seaplanes and houseboats along the coastline and water bodies. The board will finalise Standard Operating Procedures and guidelines for amphibian buses, fishing vessels, cruises and floating cottages,” the policy has understood to have proposed.
The policy offers incentives and tax holidays on par with Gujarat. The state government will provide financial assistance to the operator, who will have to bear only 50 per cent of the cost of the road connectivity to its port. The existing policy mandates the whole onus on the operator. For the railway connectivity the state government has proposed to help the operators with support from the central government,” said an official from the Ports department. The policy has proposed to incentivize industries to transport raw materials and finished products through coastal shipping. It also speaks about permitting the development of coastal berths that will handle only non-Exim cargo and passengers.
The policy seeks to encourage a cluster-based approach to developing shipbuilding and repairing industries. It also proposes to avail suitable locations for developing ship recycling facilities along the coastline.