THE government reportedly proposes to free up the coastline for foreign vessel movement without hurting the domestic shipping business.
As per the plan, it is likely to relax cabotage norms for export-import cargo on the east coast to promote transhipment. Simultaneously, it is also considering ways to provide a level playing field for Indian-flagged vessels through tax incentives.
The government wants immediate action on promoting transhipment, in keeping with its efforts to ramp up the maritime sector of the country.
The government is considering relaxing the coastal movement norms for ex-im cargo at all the ports, it is learnt.
According to Section 407 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958, only domestic vessels or ships chartered by Indians can engage in coastal trade, though the Directorate-General of Shipping can issue licences to foreign operators for a fixed duration.
It may be recalled that the government had exempted Customs and excise duty levied on bunker fuels used in Indian flag vessels for transportation of ex-im cargo and empty containers between two or more ports in India in a bid to boost transhipment.
This post was written by Atlantic Admin