India's Blue Economy Booming
India's major ports recorded a growth of 3.27 percent during the period April to September and together handled 383 million tons of cargo compared to 371 million tons handled during the corresponding period last year.
The eight major ports are Kolkata, Paradip, Chennai, Cochin, New Mangalore, Mumbai, JNPT and Kandla, and all registered positive growth in traffic. The highest growth was registered by Cochin Port (17.66 percent). In Kolkata Port, overall growth was 12.39 percent, and Haldia Dock Complex registered positive growth of 16.66 percent.
Kandla Port handled the highest volume of traffic, 63.13 million tons (16.49 percent), followed by Paradip with 55.78 million tons (14.57 percent), JNPT with 37.90 million tons (9.90 percent), Mumbai with 36.72 million tons (9.59 percent) and Visakhapatnam with 35.74 million tons (9.33 percent). Together, these five ports handled around 60 percent of major port traffic.
Petroleum, oil and lubricants accounted for the greatest share of commodities (34.07 percent), followed by container (20.01 percent) and thermal and steam coal (12.81 percent).
Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu says the nation's goods and services tax has been a game changer for India and is expected to boost exports. The government is currently identifying new items and destinations to promote exports and is identifying five emerging industries to promote.
The government is also undertaking an agricultural initiative aimed at doubling farmers' income. “India is at a great advantage, because we have 35 agro-climatic zones. We produce everything that is possible to be produced. The Prime Minister's vision of doubling farmers' income by 2022 will be possible only when we export our agriculture products,” Prabhu said.
Additionally, the Indian government has initiated several measures to promote coastal shipping and modernize India's ports so that ports become drivers of economic growth. Globally countries such as China and Netherlands have achieved a modal share of 24 percent for coastal shipping and inland water navigation. India's Sagarmala Project envisages doubling the current share of coastal shipping in India’s overall modal mix from six percent to 12 percent by 2025.