New Delhi: The Union government is making an unprecedented investment in waterway projects. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the government is very serious about developing India into a leading ‘blue economy’, meaning an economy in the maritime sector. The Prime Minister inaugurated the Maritime India Summit. The Maritime India Vision-2030 was activated on this occasion. Under this scheme, the government will be investing Rs 3 trillion in the port projects over the next ten years. The Prime Minister underlined that target to develop 23 waterways also has been set.
It is important to look at the comprehensive development of a sector instead of focusing on fractions. The government is thinking about the marine sector from the same perspective, and all the factors are being looked at. The Prime Minister pointed out that the ministry’s name also has been changed from shipping ministry to Ports, Ship Building and Waterways Ministry.
The government is paying attention to all factors like marine transport, communication, marine trade, ship repair, shipbreaking, the fish farming industry and the rafts industry. Ports, shipbuilding and waterways ministry, has prepared a list of 400 projects for investments. Prime Minister informed that these projects have an investment capacity of Rs 2.25 trillion.
The government undertook the project Sagar Mala in 2016 to promote port development. Under this scheme, 574 projects will be developed, till 2035, with an investment of USD 6 trillion. Maritime India Vision-2030 is the plan to strengthen this objective. Investment of Rs 3 trillion will go only in the port building over the next 10 years. This will create 2 million jobs. Also, the government has set a goal to develop 23 waterways by 2030. Moreover, stress will increase waterway connectivity with countries like Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar. The Prime Minister said that the waterway Connectivity Transport Grid would be strengthened for this purpose. Developing the ports into Coastal Economic Zones, developing smart cities near the ports and building industrial parks is prioritised. Under the Maritime India Vision-2030, ports of higher capacity will be developed in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha and West Bengal. In 2014, the ports of India handled a total cargo of 870 million tonnes. The Prime Minister pointed out that now this capacity has been increased to 1,550 million tonnes.
The Prime Minister appealed that the investors should take advantage of the huge investment opportunities waiting for them in this sector, and the huge Indian coastline is waiting for them.