Indian National Shipowners’ Association (INSA), the national body of Indian flagged shipping companies, has urged the government to formulate a comprehensive shipping development policy for giving a boost to the sector. In a meeting with the minister of state shipping (independent) Mansukh Mandaviya, the association has also suggested strategy to reduce India’s freight bill as also double the share of the national fleet in the country’s EXIM trade.
“INSA has requested the Modi 2.0 to finalize a comprehensive shipping development policy that would enable India to triple its national fleet and recapture its position as one of the leading sea powers in the world,” INSA CEO Anil Devli said in a statement here. He further said that having a large fleet would automatically increase commercial security for the Indian supply chain of strategic cargo and will lead to retention of freight in valuable foreign exchange being taken out by foreign shipping company.
As per survey reports, India currently ranks at 16th position in the world fleet and pays in excess of Rs 3 lakh crore as freight to foreign shipping companies. “We expect to see policies which would enable the Indian fleet to triple in size and increase its share in the EXIM trade of India, thus reducing the country’s huge freight bill currently being paid to foreign shipping companies,” Devli added.
Currently, the deadweight tonnage of Indian national tonnage as per UNCTAD is 17,974 and the country could aim at tripling the same, he said. “We will soon submit our suggestions on policies that would aid a modal shift of at least 20 percent domestic cargo from road to coastal shipping and inland waterways by 2022.
This is beneficial to India’s effort to grow usage of water as a mode of transport, decongests its roads and achieve lower carbon emissions,” Devli said. He further said that a two-pronged national maritime strategy addressing both the EXIM and coastal shipping would boost the entire maritime sector.