According to the MoS, during financial year 2015-16, 94 mt of capacity was added at major ports through 34 capital investment projects. Of this, around 50 mt was added through improvements in port efficiency. Further, projects worth Rs 728.18 billion were awarded for port modernisation and new port/terminal development during the year. Turnaround time was reduced by over 40 per cent at Paradip, V.O. Chidambaranar and Visakhapatnam ports. On the financial front, major ports increased their operating profits from Rs 35.93 billion in 2014-15 to Rs 42.68 billion in 2015-16, registering a year-on-year growth of 18.78 per cent.
The Central Board of Excise and Customs has relaxed the norms for movement of coastal cargo across different ports in the country. According to the new norms, vessels carrying coastal goods will be clearly marked with the words “for coastal carriage only” on all sides and will be exempt from examination. However, the government will carry out random checks to ensure that no export-import goods are loaded onto such coastal vessels.