India ranks 16th among the maritime countries and has one of the largest merchant shipping fleet. India has a total of 13 major ports and 187 minor ports spread across the nine maritime states.
About 95 per cent of India's overseas cargo by volume and 75 per cent by value are carried by sea. The major ports thus play a key role in facilitating external trade.
The capacity of Indian ports at the end of fiscal 2011-12 stood at 1,247 million tonnes (MT), which is likely to go up to 2,686 MT by 2017, by the end of current Five Year Plan.
The Ministry of Shipping has set a target for awarding of projects for creating 244 MT of capacity during 2012-13 spread across 42 projects, at an estimated cost of Rs 14,500 crore (US$ 2.62 billion). The target also includes, obtaining approval of establishing two new Major Ports - one in Andhra Pradesh and another in West Bengal, highlighted Mr G K Vasan, Union Minister of Shipping, while inaugurating the National Conclave on Shipping organised by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) in Chennai.
Mr G K Vasan, Union Minister of Shipping, further added that the capacity of Indian ports went up to more that 1,200 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) by March 31, 2012, from about 1,100 MMTPA at the end of the previous financial year.
Moreover, the Indian shipbuilding and ship repair industry is likely to reach Rs 9,200 crore (US$ 1.66 billion) from the current level of just over Rs 7,310 crore (US$ 1.32 billion) and is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 8 per cent, according to an industry body's estimate. India's shipbuilding industry accounts for about Rs 7,300 billion (US$ 132.01 billion), according to a study 'Shipbuilding Industry in India: An overview'.
- The Ministry of Shipping plans to invest Rs 73,793.95 crore (US$ 13.34 billion) for development of various projects in the port sector as a part of the Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012-17)
- The Government is looking at an investment of over Rs 183,000 crore (US$ 33.09 billion) in ports in the 12th Five Year Plan, most of which will come from the private sector
- India's 13 major ports will require about Rs 77,000 crore (US$ 13.92 billion) to raise capacity by 527 MT, according to the Union Ministry of Shipping
- The private sector is expected to invest about Rs 51,000 crore (US$ 9.22 billion)
- A total of 25 Port projects under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode are targetted to be completed during 2012-13, at an estimated cost of Rs 13,897.64 crore (US$ 2.51 billion) adding a capacity of 196.73 MMTPA, highlighted Mr Vasan
- Adani Kandla Bulk Terminal Pvt Ltd has signed a concession agreement with the Kandla Port Trust to set up a dry bulk terminal at the Kandla Port on build, operate, transfer (BOT) basis. The project estimated to cost Rs 1,200 crore (US$ 217 million), is expected to be completed in 24 months. Adani Port aims to reach 200 MT of handling capacity by 2020
- Gujarat Pipavav Port Ltd (GPPL) plans to invest Rs 1,097 crore (US$ 198.37 million) for expansion of Pipavav Port in Gujarat and has also concluded a capital-raising exercise of Rs 350 crore (US$ 63.29 million) through Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP)
International interest in Indian Shipping Industry
- Standard Chartered Private Equity (Mauritius) II Ltd has invested Rs 130 crore (US$ 23 .51 million) for a minority stake in Karaikal Port Pvt Ltd. Karaikal port had already attracted private equity investments from India Infrastructure Fund, Ascent Capital Advisors and NYLIM Jacob Ballas India Fund III LLC. The funds will be used in development work to enhance the port's capacity to 28 MMTPA from 21 MMTPA
- India and Bangladesh have signed an agreement renewing the bilateral protocol on inland water transit and trade. The eight-member Indian delegation was led by Mr P K Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, and the 18 member Bangladesh team by Abdul Mannan Hawaldar, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, Government of Bangladesh
- Forth Ports Ltd has announced the appointment of CMC Ltd as its information technology (IT) partner for the newly-acquired London Container Terminal (LCT). The partnership will see CMC working with the UK-based port group to implement a new and comprehensive terminal operating system. LCT will handle in excess of 5,00,000 containers this year
- The rapid growth of the middle-class segment with rising purchasing power in Asian and South-East Asian countries holds great potential for cruise tourism in the country, according to Biplav Kumar, Director, India Tourism. "Several studies show that India will be the hotspot for global tourism in the next eight to ten years," said Biplav Kumar, while speaking at a cruise tourism workshop organised by the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) in Vasco
- The foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows for ports stood at US$ 1.64 billion during April 2000-July 2012, according to the data released by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP)