India’s fact sheet of ports consists of twelve major ports (two additionally approved— one in West Bengal and the second at Andhra Pradesh) and two hundred odd minor ports accounting for 95 per cent of cargo movement by volume and 70 per cent by value. The present port capacity is around 1000 million tonnes (MT).
Imports of crude petroleum, iron ore, coal and other essential commodities are all through the sea route. Realizing the importance of developing our ports to handle large volumes and increase cargo movement, the government has allowed 100 per cent private sector and 100 per cent FDI participation in this sector. Further, a ‘Maritime Agenda 2010-2020’, a perspective plan has been prepared which has set the goals as follows:
- To increase India’s share in global ship building to 5 per cent from the present 1 per cent.
- To increase the share of Indian seafarers from 6-7 per cent to at least 9 per cent in the global shipping industry during 2015.
- To create a port capacity of around 3200 MT to handle the expected traffic of about 2500 MT during 2020.
- To bring ports at par with the best international ports in terms of performance and
- To increase the tonnage under the Indian flag and Indian control and also the share of Indian ships in our exim trade.
- To promote coastal shipping as it will help in decongesting our roads and is environment-friendly.