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Cover Story : JUL - AUG 2016

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Coastal shipping seeing renewed focus but needs more facilitation, say key players

COASTAL shipping has for long been deemed a priority area by successive powers-that-be, with one hearing repeated assertions of tapping the potential of the huge Indian coastline of over 7,500 km and, in the process, catering to the massive domestic market. The present government is stressing on many of the same things-of the importance of developing coastal shipping and the priority it needs to be given-but there does seem to be more intent in its pronouncements and some movement has been seen on the policy front.

The much-touted Sagarmala is a key government initiative, with its focus on port-led development encompassing coastal movement of a variety of commodities in addition to the currently more prevalent containerised cargo, setting up of coastal economic/industrial zones, targeted incentives, etc., all aimed at increasing the share of coastal shipping in the model cargo mix from the present 6-7 per cent to over 10 per cent by 2020.

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