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Sagarmala can save India Rs 35,000 cra year on logistics: report

More employment:The Sagarmala programme will also create one crore new jobs—Photo: Paul Noronha  

The Union government’s Sagarmala project, aimed at promoting port-led development in India, could lead to annual logistics cost savings of Rs 35,000 crore and boost India’s merchandise exports to $110 billion by 2025, the Sagarmala National Perspective Plan report said. The report was released by the Prime Minister at the ongoing Maritime India Summit on Thursday.

It said the Sagarmala programme will also create one crore new jobs, of which 40 lakh will be in the nature of direct employment.

Union Minister for Shipping, Nitin Gadkari, told reporters that the objective of the plan is to substantially reduce export-import and domestic trade costs with minimal investment.

The minister said: “This plan is based on four strategic levers: Optimising multi-modal transport to reduce the cost of domestic cargo, minimising the time and cost of export-import cargo logistics, lowering costs for bulk industries by locating them closer to the coast and improving export competitiveness by locating discrete manufacturing clusters near ports.”

He said if countries such as the US, Japan, Korea and China have leveraged their coastline and waterways to drive industrial development, why not India? “The Sagarmala programme aims to replicate these successes in India,” he said.

Mr Gadkari said the government's plan identifies specific opportunities for transportation of commodities such as thermal coal, fertilizers, foodgrain, cement and steel by coastal shipping and inland waterways.

Sagarmala aims to deliver the desired result through over 150 projects and the initiatives spanning four broad areas. These include modernisation of existing ports and establishment of five to six new ports to augment capacity, focus on port connectivity through the heavy-haul rail corridor, freight-friendly expressways, and development of strategic inland waterways.

The project will try to tap into the potential of port-led industrialisation through coastal special economic zones, which house a number of industrial clusters, and harness the potential of coastal communities through skill development and increased economic opportunities.

Mr Gadkari said the release of the plan is the first step towards a new era of port-led development in India. He said that on the Prime Minister’s instructions, the time frame of the project has been reduced to five years from 10 years.

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 8:39:11 PM |

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