The shipping ministry of India had circulated a draft policy note seeking comments from various ministries ahead of its submission to the cabinet. But the finance ministry headed by Arun Jaitley is yet to offer its comments on the note, says a report in the Livemint
And, without the views of the finance ministry, the policy cannot be taken to the cabinet for approval. The beleaguered shipbuilding industry is keeping its fingers crossed as it awaits finance minister budget on 28 February.
Shipbuilding has the potential to increase the contribution of the industry and the services sector to national gross domestic product (GDP). The maritime sector, including, ports, shipping industry and merchant navy has the potential to ignite growth, both through a trade resurgence and development of ancillary businesses.
India’s shipbuilding witnessed a rise from 0.8 million gross tonnage (GT) in 2006 to reach 3.5 million GT in 2008; it was 3.4 million GT in 2009. However, the industry witnessed a steady decline thereafter to 1.1 million GT in 2013.
As a result, the share of India in global shipbuilding rose from a marginal 0.4% in 2006 to touch 1.1% in 2009, but has declined steadily thereafter to 0.6% in 2013. Reflecting the sharp rise in India’s order book position during 2006-2009, the country’s ranking among major shipbuilders rose from the 10th position (0.4% share) in 2006 to the sixth position in 2008, and to the fifth position in 2009.
Thereafter, however, India’s ranking has steadily declined, and in 2013 fell to the 11th position. The shipping industry is sore that despite promises by successive governments, the industry failed to get the necessary thrust it deserves and that governments have not initiated steps in right earnest.