The Kerala chapter of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations is among the bodies representing export-import businesses that have welcomed the Union Cabinet’s decision on Thursday to relax cabotage law for a period of three years for Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal.

A statement from FIEO said that its president Rafeeque Ahmed welcomed the decision.

This, he said, would help Vallarpadam terminal to bring in large container vessels to the port resulting in substantial savings for Indian exporters and importers in terms of lesser freight cost.

The statement said that despite a steady growth in Indian container traffic over the years, more than 50 per cent of containers were being transshipped via ports outside India mainly Colombo, Singapore, Salalh and Jebel Ali.

Mr. Ahmed also thanked Chief Minister Oommen Chandy “for his personal intervention for getting relaxation in cabotage law.”

The Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomed the decision. A statement from the chamber said that it was decision for which “we have all been waiting for and will have a lasting and positive impact on the prospects of the ICTT, the Cochin Port and the State. We welcome this decision wholeheartedly.”

The statement was issued by the chamber president P. Narayan.

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