The government is set to form a committee to assess the potential of over 150 minor ports in the country and link them with major ones to form a national grid for ports. Background

    • The government has continuously striving to support the shipping sector.
  • The government has introduced major ports bill in parliament which bestows increased power to the port chairman.
  • Only 44 out of 204 minor ports are functional in India.
What was decided at the 17th meeting of the maritime state development council?
  • Maritime state development council is the apex advisory body for the development of the shipping sector.
  • At the 17th meeting of the maritime state development council, representatives from maritime states, shipping ministry participated.
  • They discussed ways to increase coastal shipping and develop minor ports.
  • In the meeting, State governments also decided to implement uniform rules, to ease the movement of barges between states.
  • The national grid for ports will be formed to connect major ports to minor ones.
  • They decided to form a committee to assess the potential of 150 minor ports.
About  Government committee on the potential
  • The Committee will consist of representatives from shipping ministry, maritime states, Indian private ports, and terminals Association (IPPTA), and chaired by Additional Secretary, shipping ministry.
  • The committee will assess the potential of each minor port, its downstream industry, agricultural potential, and will then suggest a plan to states for their comprehensive development.
  • A plan for the development of minor ports will be sent to states within six months.
  • They can decide whether to develop them on their own or through the public-private partnership (PPP) model
The benefit of improvement of the minor ports:
    • This will help increase, faster movement of export-import (EXIM) cargo.
  • The move will help improve the share of coastal cargo movement from 6% at present to around 12% in the next five years.
  • The national grid will help cargo travel from minor to major ports.
  • In view of the Major port bill, to be introduced in the parliament, the improvement of minor ports will share the burden of major ports.
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