Later this Monday, Ministry of Shipping, a division of Government of India announced that every shipping services that shifts its shipping from road and air to waterways will be given a certain incentive.
“It is to encourage the Indian cargo service companies to shift their services from roadways, railways and airways to coastal shipping, with special focus on Indian Waterways Transportation. As an incentive to the companies that will implement, the government will be providing Rs. 1 per tonne per km.” Reported an official from Ministry of Shipping to PTI.
He further said that it is a big move for the government as this will free enough transportation resources and space for public utility. “It will cost the government around Rs. 290 crore for a period of 2.5 years” added the officer. This scheme is under the umbrella of “Sagarmala Project”. A project developed by the government for the growth and advancement of water shipping services. It is projected that this will benefit the government with an annual saving of Rs. 30 to 40 thousand crore.
As per our sources an official note for financial incentive scheme will soon be sent for approval to the cabinet. This scheme will start with nine primary commodities including the four most important commodities; automobile, food-grains, marble and cement. This is for all domestic, national and international shipping services.
When interviewed Mr. Alok Shrivastava, Additional Secretary, Shipping said that the government was already looking for many ways and techniques to shift the cargo and transportation services to waterways, as this is not just economical upfront but is also environment friendly compared to other means of transportation services. He further informed us that the government was working on various financial and other incentive shares to help the companies shift their focus to waterways shipping services.
A workshop on ‘Promotion of Modal Shift of Cargo to Coastal Shipping and Inland Waterways’ was earlier hosted by Ministry of Shipping. In which various government and private organization and professional bodies of transportation and logistics industries participated. Most of them were the representatives or members of ICC Shipping Association (ICCSA) and Indian National Ship owners Association (INSA).
A unanimous vote for waterways shipping services was casted stating its benefits and also how it will help remove the congestion from road and railways transportation. This Rs. 1 scheme can be seen as a decision made in this workshop.