Building Port Resilience: Sector navigates choppy waters

Sector navigates choppy waters

The Covid-19 pandemic brought to the fore unprecedented challenges for the maritime sector. It struck at a time when the sector was already experiencing a downturn due to poor domestic performance and international trade disruptions. While the sector has started showing green shoots of recovery from June 2020 onwards, the pace of revival will be contingent on a plethora of factors, including domestic industrial activity and changes in the global economy. Industry experts share their views on recent developments and the sector outlook…

What has been the progress in the port sector in the past one year?

Rajiv Agarwal Operating Partner, Infrastructure, Essar, and Managing Director, Essar Ports Limited
Rajiv Agarwal Operating Partner, Infrastructure, Essar, and Managing Director, Essar Ports Limited

Rajiv Agarwal

During the unprecedented crisis posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses across sectors were severely impacted. The port sector too faced numerous challenges such as mismatched demand-supply (which affected shipping volumes and cargo), reduced manpower movement (due to lockdowns), lower revenues but sustained costs, higher inventory build-up, delayed project commissioning, etc.

However, with several restrictions now being eased, the port sector has regained its momentum and is now on the path to recovery. The Indian port sector recorded a capacity of about 2,500 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) at the end of financial year 2021. The aggregate cargo traffic handled by Indian ports in financial year 2021 was 1,247 mtpa, indicating a capacity utilisation of about 50 per cent. The cargo handled declined by 5.5 per cent in financial year 2021 as compared to financial year 2020. The reduction was purely on account of the impact of the pandemic. In terms of share, major ports handled about 54 per cent of cargo traffic while non-major ports handled about 46 per cent in financial year 2021. The overall revival in cargo volumes and in the sector will depend entirely on how quick the demand and actual consumption meet the gap.

Sameer Bhatnagar Partner, Transport and Logistics, KPMG in India
Sameer Bhatnagar Partner, Transport and Logistics, KPMG in India

Sameer Bhatnagar

Global trade went through unprecedented times due to the Covid-19 outbreak across the world. Economic activities witnessed a severe impact. Supply chains were disrupted with the onset of the pandemic, with various countries going into lockdown one after the other. While nations have been busy containing the pandemic, the maritime sector has seen various trends that may reshape the global maritime landscape in the coming times.

The importance and focus on maritime trade has only increased in the past one year due to factors such as a change in supply chain patterns, technological disruptions, increased focus on building resilience and sustainability, and a low-carbon agenda. The Indian port sector also faced a crisis and responded by improving port operations, increasing communications with stakeholders, and enhancing digitalisation of port services.

According to the MoPSW’s Annual Report 2020-21, the total traffic handled at major and non-major ports in India reached more than 1,251.38 million tonnes (mt) during financial year 2020-21, a decrease of 5.2 per cent over the previous year. The Indian port sector witnessed enhanced interest from private developers and saw investments from various players. The country’s ranking under the trading across border parameter of the Ease of Doing Business rankings improved from 80 to 68 in 2020 on the back of various measures such as direct port delivery, direct port entry, radio frequency identification, installation of scanners at ports, and simplification and digitalisation of certain procedures at major ports. In terms of progress from the policy and regulatory perspective, the MoPSW has issued the Maritime India Vision, 2030 document, which will act as a blueprint to accelerate holistic growth in the maritime sector in India over the next decade.

Recent regulatory changes in the sector include the introduction of the Major Ports Authority Bill, 2020, Merchant Shipping Bill, 2020, and the Recycling of Ships Act, 2019. The draft Indian Ports Bill, 2020 has also been circulated for stakeholder comments. The government has been focusing on all-round development of the port sector through these initiatives, which are aimed at improving overall port efficiency as well as logistics in the country.

Devdatta Bose Group Sector Head, Ports & Harbors, Tata Consulting Engineers Limited
Devdatta Bose Group Sector Head, Ports & Harbors, Tata Consulting Engineers Limited

Devdatta Bose

The sector has seen a lot of mergers and acquisitions in the past year, which marked the consolidation of the port sector. Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZL) completed 100 per cent acquisition of Dighi Port Limited (DPL) for Rs 7.05 billion in February 2021. APSEZL will be investing Rs 100 billion for developing DPL into an alternative gateway to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and evolving it into a multipurpose port with world-class infrastructure, and rail and road connectivity. APSEZL proposes to acquire 30.8 per cent of the government’s 54.8 per cent stake in Container Corporation of India Limited. With regard to the Gangavaram port acquisition, the concession agreement signed by Andhra Pradesh will be in force till 2059. The 10.4 per cent government share in Gangavaram Port Limited (GPL), which it got in lieu of the 1,800 acres of land it gave for construction of the port on the backyard of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant in PPP mode, will be acquired by APSEZL reportedly for Rs 6.45 billion. The Competition Commission of India approved APSEZL’s plan to acquire a 89.6 per cent stake in GPL in April 2021. In March 2021, APSEZL acquired a 58.1 per cent stake in GPL for Rs 36.04 billion ($493.7 million) from D.V.S. Raju and family. Meanwhile, Adani Ports signed an agreement with Vishwa Samudra Holdings Private Limited to acquire a 25 per cent stake in Adani Krishnapatnam Port Limited for Rs 28 billion ($226.4 billion) in April 2021. Earlier, in March 2021, APSEZL had announced a partnership with John Keells Holdings and the Sri Lankan Ports Authority to develop and operate the west container terminal of Colombo Port in Sri Lanka for 35 years. Meanwhile, JSW Infrastructure completed acquisition of the Chettinad Group’s port business for Rs 10 billion ($135.5 million) in November 2020.

The Gujarat Maritime Board released a tender for development of the greenfield port of Nargol for Rs 38 billion over a five-year period on a build-operate-own-transfer basis. In another development, the government announced its intention to sell its entire 63.75 per cent stake in the Shipping Corporation of India along with the transfer of management control. With regard to foreign direct investment (FDI), the port sector in India received a cumulative FDI worth $1.63 billion between April 2000 and June 2020. In July 2020, APSEZL launched an offshore bond offering, raising about $750 million.

K.K. Krishnadas President and COO, JM Baxi
K.K. Krishnadas President and COO, JM Baxi

K.K. Krishnadas

With increasing trade activities and private participation, the port sector has seen a significant growth. During 2019-20, major and non-major ports in India handled a total cargo throughput of  about 1,310 mt. The traffic grew by 2.98 per cent over the corresponding period of the previous year. Since 2014-15, the overall traffic at Indian ports has grown a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 6 per cent. During 2019-20, minor ports handled about 605 mt of cargo, that is, about 46 per cent of the total cargo handled at Indian ports. Major ports handled 672.6 mt of cargo during 2020-21, representing a decrease of about 5 per cent over the corresponding period of the previous year. The official figures of cargo handled at minor ports during 2020-21 are still awaited. The average turnaround time at major ports improved from 109.44 hours in 2011-12 to 66.24 hours during 2019-20.

 

 

“The government has been supporting the sector with multiple reforms and policies. These initiatives
will not only enhance the efficiency of the sector but also improve the country’s competitiveness and
catalyse its transformation into a global manufacturing hub.” Rajiv Agarwal

What has been the impact of the key initiatives undertaken by the government?

Rajiv Agarwal

In order to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the port sector and push for early revival, the Indian government has been supporting the sector with multiple reforms and policies. The efforts undertaken, particularly by the Ministry of Shipping for enhancing the sector and economy, are highly commendable. The efforts are noticeable through a plethora of initiatives such as the Major Ports Bill, 2020, which will enable flexibility, self-governance and swiftness in decision-making; the launch of 400 investible projects worth $31 billion for improving the maritime sector; the announcement of the Maritime Vision 2030, which will pave the way for global maritime leadership; conceptualising the National Infrastructure Pipeline to enable the infrastructure support required for Atmanirbhar Bharat; and undertaking PPP projects on existing assets in major ports to unlock value and enhance efficiency.

These initiatives will not only enhance the efficiency of the port sector but also improve the country’s competitiveness. These efforts are likely to catalyse rapid transformation of India in becoming a global manufacturing hub.

Devdatta Bose

In the Union Budget 2020-21, the total allocation for the Ministry of Shipping was Rs 17.02 billion ($233.48 million). The government announced subsidy funding worth Rs 16.24 billion ($222.74 million) to Indian shipping companies to encourage merchant ship flagging in the country. The key ports are expected to deliver seven projects worth more than Rs 20 billion ($274.31 million) on a PPP basis in financial year 2022. Private sector investments in ports have increased steadily over the past five years, touching an all-time high of $2.35 billion in 2020. The Ministry of Finance proposed to double the ship recycling capacity of about 4.5 million light displacement tonnes by 2024. This is expected to generate an additional about 150,000 employment opportunities in India. In February 2021 the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020, was passed by Parliament. The bill aims to decentralise decision-making and reinforce excellence in major port governance. The bill also aims to reorient the governance model in central ports to align with international best practices. As the pandemic poses uncertainties in the port business, the MoPSW has hired the Boston Consulting Group to draw up a new 10-year road map for port development as a possible substitute for its mammoth Sagarmala programme, rolled out in 2015.

K.K. Krishnadas

The Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020 was passed by Lok Sabha on September 23, 2020 and in the Rajya Sabha on February 10, 2021. The bill seeks to provide greater autonomy to the major ports of India. With regard to digitalisation initiatives, an enhanced port community system (PCS) (PCS 1x version) has been implemented. In a separate development, it has planned to develop the integrated National Logistics Portal (NLP) Marine by 2022. Under this initiative, the target is to implement 100 per cent paperless processes including online payment. With a view to revive the waterways network and to promote inland water transport in the country as an economical, environment-friendly supplementary mode of transport to rail and road, 111 inland waterways have been declared as national waterways under the National Waterways Act, 2016. Besides, the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is developing various multimodal terminals along NW-1 in PPP mode.

A number of steps have also been taken to improve international cooperation. It has been agreed between India and Bangladesh that the Northeastern states of India can use the Chittagong  and Mongla ports for transit of goods through waterways, rail, road or multi-modal transport. In addition, India and Nepal have agreed to include inland waterways connectivity as an additional mode of transport in the Protocol to the Treaty of Transit. Meanwhile, the operationalisation of various sections of the dedicated freight corridor (DFC) has built confidence in the industry by reducing logistics costs and transit time of cargo. With a view to giving a boost to the shipbuilding segment, under the Shipbuilding financial assistance policy for Indian shipyards for contracts signed during 2016-26, an amount of Rs 290.2 million was released to Indian shipyards for 12 vessels during 2018-19, Rs 269.7 million for seven vessels during 2019-20 and Rs 50.6 million for three vessels during 2020-21. The MoPSW has also directed all major ports to procure or charter tugboats made in India.

The government is also undertaking a plethora of initiatives to improve cargo handling through coastal shipping. The key initiatives to improve coastal handling of cargo are the following: vessels utilised for coastal services are afforded a 40 per cent discount from port charges over foreign-moving vessels; a reduction in GST from 18 per cent to 5 per cent on bunker fuel for both coastal vessels and foreign-going vessels; in order to assist Indian flag vessels to efficiently offer coastal transportation services between the east coast and west coast of the country, including Northeast India as well as carriage of exim cargo to/from Sri Lanka/ Bangladesh and India, the government has allowed carriage of coastal cargo from one Indian port to another Indian port via foreign ports in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh; etc.

“The MoPSW’s Maritime India Vision, 2030 document will act as a blueprint to accelerate holistic growth in the maritime sector over the next decade.” Sameer Bhatnagar

What has been the impact of Covid-19 on the sector? What has been your organisation’s response to the pandemic?

Rajiv Agarwal

Financial year 2021 witnessed port traffic falling by 5.5 per cent. This was predominantly on account of the pandemic during the first two quarters. However, subsequent to that, there was an uptick in economic activity, which resulted in an increase in  cargo volumes and operations, taking the figures close to pre-Covid levels.

Since inception, we have been investing extensively in developing and building state-of-the-art mechanised terminals that have led Essar Ports to achieve one of the best turnaround times in the Indian port sector, while maintaining a clean and safe environment. Despite the pandemic and challenges faced, our facilities have been fully operational and we have seen interest of trade strengthening at our facilities. As a matter of fact, our Vizag terminal – India’s largest ore handling complex – posted a growth of 7 per cent in financial year 2021 despite the industry showing a downward trend. The demand for our terminals is strong and we believe our terminals are well placed to offer sustainable advantage to our customers and trade.

Our facilities have played a crucial role in ensuring smooth operations of our customers’ supply chains. The handling of cargo at Essar Ports has been in compliance with the guidelines set by the government and in close coordination with the authorities.

Sameer Bhatnagar

While the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development projects the volume of international maritime trade to have fallen by 4.1 per cent in 2020, major and non-major ports in India accomplished a total cargo throughput of 1,251.38 mt during financial year 2020-21, registering a decrease of 5.2 per cent over the previous year. Cargo handled during financial year 2020-21 at major ports decreased by 4.6 per cent and that at non-major ports saw a decline of 5.9 per cent. Major ports handled around 53.74 per cent of the overall traffic. Overseas traffic fell by 3.7 per cent for all major and non-major ports combined in financial year 2020-21 while coastal traffic decreased by 11.4 per cent. Iron ore and fertilisers were the only two commodity groups which showed positive growth during financial year 2020-21 over the previous year for both major as well as non-major ports. Covid-19 caused congestion at major ports of the world due to restrictions on evacuation and movement imposed by various authorities as well as non-availability of labour and documents. However, coordinated efforts by the government and port authorities helped to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. To ease operational issues, digital initiatives through the upgraded port community system (PCS 1x version) towards a completely paperless regime have been initiated. Five major ports – Mumbai, Chennai, Deendayal, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) – are implementing/ piloting a digital port ecosystem comprising various port processes to arrive at final re-engineered processes.

Other initiatives undertaken to soften the impact of Covid-19 on trade include issuance of advisories/circulars by the MoPSW and associated bodies to provide relief in terms of non-charging of demurrage and other penalties/charges; major ports ensuring storage space for cargo and accommodation and food for migrant labourers working in their premises; computation of minimum guaranteed throughput obligations, for the respective years, without considering the lockdown period and cargo volume handled during the said period; major ports remitting VRC charges for quarantined vessels; and the MoPSW facilitating more than change of over 100,000 crew members Indian ports and through charter flights.

As per the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, a drive was undertaken to reposition around 100,000 empty containers in coordination with various shipping lines. Other initiatives included the rationalisation of the quarantine period for ships arriving from China and expediting clearance of unclaimed/uncleared cargo with the help of customs. Indian Railways also extended support by providing free movement of empty flats and containers between March and May 2020 and other concessions/ discounts post that.

Devdatta Bose

Indian major ports suffered a year of low traffic due to Covid-19 disruptions. India’s 12 major ports witnessed a 4.59 per cent fall in total cargo handled, from 705 mt during 2019-20 to 672.6 mt during 2020-21. Cargo traffic at non-major ports in 2020-21 decreased by 6.2 per cent to 575.04 mt from 613.17 mt handled during April-March 2019-20. All major ports except Paradip and Mormugao registered negative traffic growth. In spite of best efforts and ports being kept operational as essential service, Indian ports still faced cargo flow disruptions due to lockdown restrictions in the hinterland. Overall, during the pandemic, all major ports registered about 10 per cent fall in average output per ship berth day. However, Covid-19 has led Indian ports towards faster adoption of digitalisation. Digitalisation is expected to yield immense benefits in terms of saving time and cost of compliance for the trade, thereby enhancing ease of doing business, while providing enhanced security features.

K.K. Krishnadas

Covid-19 has caused several changes to global shipping and the Indian shipping segment too has been deeply impacted. Its effect on the economy can still be felt. To India’s credit, barring a few months, the industry continued to the service exim trade throughout the pandemic. Even in these challenging times, the Indian shipping industry has continued to service both domestic and international demand. We were able to provide critical food, medical and other essential supplies such as oil. International shipping companies together with JMB services also catered to medical requirements across the country.

The JM Baxi Group operates five container and bulk terminals at various ports – Visakhapatnam, Haldia and Paradip (on the east coast) and Kandla and Rozi (on the west coast). In addition, it operates CFSs at Mumbai and Visakhapatnam, and at the ICD Sonepat near Delhi. The three facilities in Mumbai, Sonepat and Haldia were declared red zones because of a high incidence of Covid-19 cases; this made operations difficult. Volumes took a plunge, given first-mile (cargo evacuation from port) and last-mile (supply chain between ICDs and company warehouses) connectivity being severely restricted; this posed immense challenges. Cargo piled up at terminals, leading to congestion; this was just three to seven days from the imposition of lockdown. The main challenges that were faced include acute shortage of drivers and labourers at terminals; congestion and lack of adequate evacuation of cargo leading to shortage of yard capacity at terminals; increased load on rail traffic; and increased challenges on equipment availability, repair and maintenance.

The key initiatives taken by our team are safety measures to build confidence among drivers, security and staff members, formation of SOPs for low infection rates among the workforce, mobilising and adding equipment handling capacity during critical times, adopting digital mode to speed up transactions, etc.

Compared to other ports on the west and east coasts of India, it is prudent to say that ICT terminals are Covid-19, proof, with cargo traffic growing even during these testing times. We have been able to do our little bit by not only purchasing oxygen and the necessary cylinders from overseas but also supplying to the Maharashtra, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh governments. It is heartening that our customers, shipping lines, the Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and state governments assisted in moving empty cylinders from various countries as a goodwill gesture with no cost.

“Improving the operational and financial efficiency of our existing port infrastructure is low-hanging fruit that can create 10-15 per cent more port capacity and provide a major boost to the sector.” Devdatta Bose

What are the sector’s key challenges that remain unaddressed?

Rajiv Agarwal

The logistics sector has an indispensable role to play in nation building. However, there are certain factors that industry players need to work on to stay ahead of competition, such as increasing operational efficiency through mechanisation of non-mechanised terminals, reducing pre-berthing delays and improving turnaround time. Technology and digitalisation will play a key role in this.

There is also a need to develop deeper draft at the existing and new ports to accommodate larger-size vessels. The development of multimodal evacuation facilities at the existing port terminal facilities, with a key focus on improving comprehensive rail/road connectivity, is needed as it will reduce congestion considerably.

Additionally, the sector requires low-cost financing to fund projects in view of slow cargo build-up and long gestation periods. Like the government enjoys low-cost financing for debt and equity, a similar type of fund and low-cost instrument should be opened for the private sector in view of the need of private sector participation with the National Infrastructure Pipeline expected to play a key role in the time to come.

Devdatta Bose

Overall, the utilisation of Indian ports is very low, which draws attention to the slow pace of industrialisation, and the need for more focus on the concept of maritime clusters and coastal economic zones/industrial corridors. Improving the operational and financial efficiency of our existing port infrastructure is a low-hanging fruit that can create 10-15 per cent more port capacity and provide a boost to the sector. With government policy reforms, timely infrastructure and skill development, India could attract manufacturing companies currently operating from China; this would be a tremendous gain to the Indian economy. The government needs to have a proactive land policy for land near ports and inland waterways to enable faster industrialisation. Port traffic within India is carried largely by railways and road transport, and by pipelines for carrying crude oil and petroleum products. Alternative modes such as inland waterways have remained largely underdeveloped.

K.K. Krishnadas

In order to increase private sector participation in a big way, it is essential that a proper regulatory environment is created to facilitate this. However, it is ironi that while the government wants to attract private investments on a large scale, even the existing incentives are gradually being withdrawn, thus dampening the interest of industry players to come forward. There is also a need for an urgent policy reform to enable  major ports to operate as service organisations rather than on commercial principles. The government’s decision to exclude the maritime sector from the benefits of the Service Exports from India scheme is uncalled for as the maritime sector in India is yet to be fully developed and needs incentives to grow. Meanwhile, the maritime infrastructure (ports, BOT terminals) and allied support infrastructure (ICDs, CFSs and warehousing facilities) will be encouraged by the reintroduction of Section 80 IA for investment in greenfield projects resulting in significant capacity addition to the existing facilities.

Other changes recommended by the company include a thorough review of the land lease policy with a view to bring rationalisation in land lease charges; complete waiver of customs cost recovery charges retrospectively; identifying project-specific risks by each project implementation authority before finalising the bid documents and providing for rational allocation of risks for the entire implementation cycle of the project; suitable regulatory measures for preventing unhealthy competition between major ports and non-major ports; suitable reduction in vessel-related charges (VRCs) at major ports on par with the charges prevailing in neighbouring foreign ports; expediting project execution; creation of integrated logistics parks across all the major ports/non-major ports; ensuring full market-based tariff freedom for existing concessionaires; specialised institutional mechanism for liberalised long-term funding for PPP projects and setting up of a maritime development fund with adequate funding; and suitable legislative measures prescribing mandatory usage, by stakeholders, of digital technology platforms developed.

“Even in these challenging times, the Indian shipping industry has continued to service not just domestic but also international demand.” K.K. Krishnadas

What is the outlook for the sector for the next one to two years?

Rajiv Agarwal

Infrastructure is the backbone of any economy and the port sector is one of the key drivers of economic development. With the world still grappling with the pandemic, we are all striving to ensure resilience and business continuity.

As the pandemic continues to affect many facets of the supply chain, the prime minister’s ambition of Atmanirbhar Bharat is sure to bring a new change in the business ecosystem. It will surely pave the way for local manufactures and for us to develop localised supply chains that would reduce exposure to any possible disruptions. This will certainly give the desired push to the economy and a big boost to ports, shipping, coastal and inland waterway transport.

Also, technology has taken centre stage during the pandemic and transformed the way business is done. So, it would be apt to say that digitalisation is the future and the way forward for how businesses will be conducted across sectors and industries. Digitialsation and advancement in technology would enable better customer service, reduce cost of operations, improve efficiencies, ensure environmentally conscious/eco-friendly business operations and faster turnaround of vessels. With this, the port sector is certain to see the emergence of more effective business models with technology taking centre stage in the coming years.

Sameer Bhatnagar

The MoPSW monthly cargo traffic update for July 2021 indicates that major and non-major ports in India accomplished a total cargo throughput of 443.65 mt during April-July 2021, an increase of 23.5 per cent over the same period of the previous year. Cargo handled at major ports increased by 21.1 per cent and that at non-major ports increased by 23.7 per cent. During April-July 2021, overseas and coastal cargo at all major and non-major ports combined increased by 22.1 and 23.16 per cent, respectively, over the same period in financial year 2020-21. This showcases the positive outlook for the sector and optimism that cargo volumes will increase. Initiatives related to digitalisation of ports and efficient utilisation of port capacities will drive improvements in the sector. Private sector participation will continue to increase in the sector, with increased autonomy for major port authorities, and more opportunities for service providers for operations and maintenance, pilotage and harbouring and marine assets, such as barges and dredgers.

The central government recently announced the National Monetisation Pipeline comprising brownfield assets that will be earmarked for monetisation till 2024-25. Assets worth about Rs 128 billion are proposed to be monetised in the port sector. The sector is likely to increase its focus on building resilience in operations to combat risks such as the upcoming waves of the pandemic. Port terminal operators may also provide end-to-end solutions to users to differentiate and attract traffic amidst increased competition.

Devdatta Bose

Increasing investments and cargo traffic point towards a healthy outlook for the Indian port sector. Providers of services such as operations and maintenance (O&M), pilotage and harbouring, and marine assets, such as barges and dredgers, are benefiting from these investments. The capacity addition at ports is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5-6 per cent till 2022, thereby adding 275-325 mt of capacity. Domestic waterways have been found to be a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable mode of freight transportation. The government aims to operationalise 23 waterways by 2030. Digitalisation needs to be implemented at every level of the cargo movement value chain along with elimination of unnecessary intermediaries. Brownfield ports should also consider digitalisation of port and terminal operation, upstream and downstream supply chain integration, digital customs clearance, e-berthing, e-bunkering at ports, etc. The greenfield port being planned on the east coast of India with proper infrastructure and policies can act as a transshipment hub to neighboring countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh, etc.

K.K. Krishnadas

The government is aiming to increase the capacity at various ports at a CAGR of 5-6 per cent till 2022, in an attempt to add a capacity of 275-325 mt. Domestic waterways are considered to be a mode of freight transportation that are cost-effective and environmentally sustainable. Therefore, the government aims to operationalise 23 waterways by 2030. This will be in addition to the Sagarmala project, where under over 574 projects costing $82 billion will be implemented between 2015 and 2035.

According to a report by the National Transport Development Policy Committee, Indian port traffic is expected to touch 1,695 mt by 2021-22. This will help realise India’s aim to become an output-dominant country. The shipping industry has a large-scale potential for investments. According to the Maritime India Summit 2021, the MoPSW has identified a total of 400 projects worth $31 billion expected to come up in the near future. w