The government has grown the proposed investment in 17 enterprises under the shipping ministry to Rs 5,778 crore for 2019-20 in order to boost the ‘blue economy’. The anticipated investment in these enterprises that include 12 major ports is Rs 5,548.12 crore in 2018-19, according to the revised numbers in the recent budget document. The government had proposed an investment of Rs 5,079.80 crore in the Budget for 2018-19.
Aspiring to be a USD 10 trillion economies in the next eight years, the government plans to harness India’s long 7,500-km coastline by encouraging water transport.
The 17 entities also covering Inland Waterways Authority of India, Shipping Corporation of India, Dredging Corporation of India and Sagarmala Development Company.
The government stated that the Rs 5,777.79 crore investment proposed, Rs 5,577.79 crore will be met through Internal and Extra Budgetary Resources (IEBR).
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in his budget speech on Friday said India’s long coastline has the potential of becoming the strength of the economy, particularly through the exploitation of the blue economy, to ensure better standards and quality of life for people living in coastal regions.
Blue economy refers to the sustainable use of marine resources for economic growth, enhanced livelihoods and jobs while preserving the health of the marine ecosystem.
Goyal also stated the ambitious Sagarmala project will be fast-tracked.
“Our efforts in the Sagarmalaprogramme will be scaled up and we will develop other inland waterways faster. Our coastline and our ocean waters powering India’s development and growth are few dimensions of the government’s vision,” he stated.
The Sagarmalaprogram is a positive step by the government towards transforming the nation through port modernization.
Projects identified under Sagarmalaprogramme are anticipated to mobilize more than Rs 8 lakh crore of infrastructure investment, double the share of domestic waterways (inland and coastal) in the modal mix.
The initiative will head to logistics cost savings of Rs 35,000-40,000 crore per annum, boost merchandise exports by USD 110 billion and enable the creation of 1 crore new jobs, including 40 lakh direct jobs, in next 10 years, according to the government.
The capital expenditure pertaining to Sagarmala Development Company is met from Central Road and Infrastructure Fund (CRIF).