India's Ministry of Shipping has chalked out a plan to raise a trillion India Rupees to develop ports, build ships and improve inland waterways, says a report in the Business Standard.
The money will help the shipping ministry, which floated the proposal, help finance port and maritime-related infrastructure projects. The amount would be raised in the dollar equivalent at an interest of three per cent.
For, the government may set up a dedicated company by pooling the future income of the 12 ports it directly owns. The company set up specifically for this purpose—a special purpose vehicle or SPV—will leverage the pooled income of the dollar receivables of the 12 ports to borrow from overseas insurance and pension funds which seek good returns for their capital.
As part of its focus on developing the maritime infrastructure
, the government will increase the draft or channel depth at all the major ports to 20 meters for revenue-maximisation, Union shipping minister Nitin Gadkari has said.
"The draft is very important for a port. We have decided to take the draft of all the ports to 18 meters and from there up to 20 meters," Gadkari said.
Gadkari also said his ministry is planning to set up Ports Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation to fund ports and shipping infrastructure in dollars. “Inland waterways, ports and shipping are on the top of the agenda. The Centre is keen to modernize large ports.”
Meanwhile, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries' plans to build the country's largest port at Rewas, off the city's southeast coast, which has been stuck for over a decade, may soon see the light of day.
Gadkari has promised to find a solution to the issues around getting the right of way from the Mumbai Port Trust for the port project, which will be the largest in the country with 70 berths with a capacity to handle 457 million tonnes of cargo per annum, at a reasonable rate and that too within a month.