The Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) and Chemicals & Fertilizers, Shri Mansukh Mandaviya said that the government has developed a standard operating procedure for all ports in the country to deal with oil spills and other accidents that can damage the marine ecology surrounding the ports.
He said that the central government has formulated a scheme for providing assistance to major ports and oil handling non-major ports under state maritime Boards/State Govts. for combating oil pollution and for mitigation measures.
Under the Scheme 10 Major Ports and 8 Non-Major Ports have been provided financial assistance so far for the procurement of Oil Spill Response (OSR) equipment as per specifications suggested in NOSDCP-2015.
He said that the National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOSDCP) delineates the role and responsibility of various authorities including ports during an oil spill. Annual calendar is published for conduct of different levels of exercises involving various stakeholders for exercising their capabilities in mitigating risk of oil spills in their area of jurisdiction. As per NOSDCP, ports are required to be capable of handling tier-I level of oil spill within their jurisdiction.
In a reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today the Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) and Chemicals & Fertilizers, Shri Mansukh Mandaviyainformed that the tonnage capacity in the country is as per details given below:
|Period||Number of vessels||GT||DWT|
|As on 31.03.2017||1316||11,562||17,278|
|As on 31.03.2018||1,384||12,582||19,082|
|As on 31.03.2019||1,407||12,789||19,387|
*(In million tonnes)
The minister informed that in order to increase tonnage capacity of Indian shipping industry, Government has taken a number of steps. These include:-
- Providing Indian shipping industry cargo support through Right of First Refusal
- Reducing GST from 18% to 5% on bunker fuel used in Indian flag vessels
- Allowing carriage of coastal cargo from one Indian port to another Indian port via foreign ports in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
- Removing licensing requirement for chartering of foreign registered ships by citizens of India, companies incorporated in India and Registered Societies to encourage coastal movement of agriculture and other commodities, fertilizer, EXIM Transshipment Containers and Empty containers
- Bringing parity in the tax regime of Indian seafarers employed on Indian flag ships vis-à-vis those on foreign flag ships
- Allowing shipping enterprises based in India to acquire ships abroad and flag them in the country of their convenience
- Allowing use of imported Containers for carrying of domestic cargo and allowing use of locally manufactured or domesticated containers conforming to the specifications from the International Organization (ISO), for transportation of EXIM cargo.