A hundred years ago May 29, 1920 Comment

The Indian Ports.

(From an editorial)

The ports of India have not received as much attention and support from the Government in years past as their central position in the world’s trade demands. On account of the phenomenal shortage of ocean freight and the various restrictions in the flow of merchandise in diverse ways, India’s place in the Empire’s trade was, to some measure, impaired during the period of the great European war. However, the value of the overseas trade in merchandise in the year ending 31st March 1918 was about 393 crores of rupee. Overseas commercial expansion presupposes the existence of good and safe ports and other shipping facilities. Major Indian ports are gradually asserting their commercial importance with the increase of overseas trade and their conditions require considerable improvement to enable Indian trade to flourish in a manner worthy of her central position and ancient greatness as the emporium of world trade. The administration of affairs of the larger ports of India, Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Karachi, Rangoon and Chittagong, is vested by law in bodies specially constituted. They are invested with wide powers but they are subject to greater control of Government than the municipal bodies. In the majority of cases the European members form the majority and the elected members are fewer in number than the nominated ones. Under such circumstances it is nothing strange that the administration of ports should be more in conformity with the policy of the Government than in accordance with popular needs and trade requirements. The Government of the country ought to realise the importance of Indian ports and take such steps as would secure for them all commercial facilities. The minor ports of Southern India have been much neglected and they are gradually losing their trade. Many a time the Hon’ble Members of the Legislative Council had invited the attention of the Government to their duty of impoving the minor ports in this Presidency and devising measures to raise their fullest prestige.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 12:35:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/the-indian-ports/article31697753.ece

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