Shipping Industry Must Turn COVID-19 Crisis into Opportunity: Mandaviya

April 2020
Shipping Industry Must Turn COVID-19 Crisis into Opportunity: Mandaviya

Assuring the industry of the necessary support from the government, Mansukh Laxmanbhai Mandaviya, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Shipping urged the Indian maritime industry to turn the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity.

Addressing an interactive session with industry stakeholders via webinar organised by the industry chamber FICCI, Mandaviya said that the maritime associations along with FICCI should jointly prepare a comprehensive strategy and mechanism for the ministry to take decisive action.

“We are ready to help but it is the Industry that has to turn the crisis into opportunity. Industry should come forward with plans and government will provide necessary support. I want ship building industry not just to survive but also make considerable progress,” said Mandaviya.

He further highlighted that currently the Indian ports were working at 70-80 per cent capacity but transportation of bulk cargo via road transport continued to be a concern that the government was working to resolve. “Port is ready to work at full capacity, but the concern for CSF, ICD might continue for some more time but they will be solved soon,” added Mandaviya.

The minister said that the government was giving thrust to the Indian ship building industry and increasing the country’s fleet size. He also urged the industry to come forward in developing a detailed strategy for this. Highlighting the steps taken by the government during the lockdown, Mandaviya assured that government will continue to ensure proper functioning of the ports, identifying and solving the bottlenecks and providing necessary support to the industry.

Further, while applauding the decision making at the government, Capt. BVJK Sharma, Chairman Shipping, FICCI National Committee on Infrastructure & Director-Ports (CEO Office), Adani Ports & SEZ Ltd, highlighted that many recommendations submitted by FICCI have been accepted by the government. “We would like to thank the government for a very pro-active role in ensuring smooth running of port and shipping operations during the current crisis,” he added.

The webinar saw active participation of key stakeholders from shipping lines, port and terminal operators, supply chain and logistics, inland waterways, ship owners, manufacturers and repairers, freight forwarders, shipyard owners, vessel manufacturers and operators, custom agents amongst others.

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