MoS relaxes cabotage restrictions for ports

Further, the MoS has relaxed cabotage restrictions for ports which transship at least 50 per cent of the container traffic handled by them. With this relaxation, foreign vessels can also transport export-import (ex-im) laden and empty containers from any port in India to transshipment ports and vice versa. The container port seeking cabotage relaxation for transshipment would have to achieve transshipment of 50 per cent or more of the ex-im and empty cargo handled in one year. New transshipment ports will have a gestation period of one year and will have to achieve the stipulated transshipment traffic in the second year.

The National Waterways Bill, 2015, aimed at developing an additional 106 inland waterways, was passed in the Rajya Sabha on March 9, 2016. The bill identifies the inland waterways across 24 states that are to be developed as national waterways. As of now, there are five national waterways. Two of these are yet to be operationalised, while the other three are reportedly not being used to their full potential.

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