India has 12 major ports and about 200 non-major ports. Under the National Perspective Plan for Sagarmala, six new mega ports will be developed in the country. During the period April 2017 - February 2018, cargo traffic at major ports in the country was reported at 616.62 million tonnes (MT), showing a growth of 4.97 per cent over the same period last year.
Since ports handle almost 95 per cent of trade volumes in India, the rising trade has contributed significantly to the country’s cargo traffic. To support the growing demand, total cargo capacity in India is estimated to have reached to 2,493.1 MMT in FY17. Capacity at major Indian ports reached 1,358 MMT in December 2017. Capacity at non-major ports is expected to reach 968 MMT in 2019 from 750 MMT in 2016. Given the positive outlook, proposed investments in major ports are expected to total US$ 18.6 billion by 2020, while those in non-major ports would be US$ 28.5 billion.
In November 2016, Ministry of Shipping has sanctioned sum of US$ 1.49 million to Gujarat Maritime Board for capacity building and safety training of workers involved in ship recycling activities under Sagarmala. The Government of India has finalised master plans for 142 capacity expansion projects worth Rs 91,434 crore (US$ 14.19 billion) under the Sagarmala programme.
The Government of India has allowed foreign direct investment (FDI) of up to 100 per cent under the automatic route for projects related to the construction and maintenance of ports and harbours. A 10-year tax holiday is extended to enterprises engaged in the business of developing, maintaining, and operating ports, inland waterways, and inland ports. The government has also initiated National Maritime Development Programme (NMDP), an initiative to develop the maritime sector with a planned outlay of US$ 11.8 billion.