India has 12 major ports and around 200 non-major ports. In FY20, major ports in India handled 704.82 million tonnes (MT) of cargo traffic, implying a CAGR of 2.74% during FY16-FY20. Cargo traffic at non-major ports reached 447.21 MT in FY20 (until December 2019).
India’s key ports had a capacity of 1,534.91 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) in FY20.
In FY21, all key ports in India handled 672.61 million tonnes (MT) of cargo traffic.
In 2019, non-major ports traffic comprised 45% of the total cargo, due to a significant shift of traffic from the major ports to the non-major ports.
Merchandise exports reached US$ 255.92 billion in FY21 (until February 2021).
The Government of India has allowed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of up to 100% under the automatic route for projects related to the construction and maintenance of ports and harbours. Ports received a cumulative FDI of US$ 1.64 billion between April 2000 and December 2020. 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. In Union Budget 2020-21, the total allocation for the Ministry of Shipping was Rs. 1,702.35 crore (US$ 233.48 million).
The key ports are expected to deliver seven projects worth more than Rs. 2,000 crore (US$ 274.31 million) on a public-private partnership basis in FY22.
The Finance Minister proposed to double the ship recycling capacity of ~4.5 million light displacement tonnes (LDT) by 2024; this is expected to generate an additional ~1.5 lakh employment opportunities in India.
In Union Budget 2021, the government announced subsidy funding worth Rs. 1,624 crore (US$ 222.74 million) to Indian shipping companies to encourage merchant ship flagging in the country.
in February 2021, the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020 was passed by the Parliament of India. The bill aims to decentralise decision-making and reinforce excellence in major port governance.
As per studies conducted under the Sagarmala Programme, cargo traffic at ports is expected to be ~2,500 MMTPA by 2025, while the current cargo handling capacity of ports is only 2,406 MMTPA. A roadmap has been prepared for increasing the Indian port capacity to 3,300+ MMTPA by 2025 to cater to the growing traffic. This includes port operational efficiency improvement, capacity expansion of existing ports and new port development. There are 206 port modernisation projects worth Rs. 78,611 crore (US$ 10.71 billion). Of which, 81 projects worth Rs. 24,113 crore (US$ 3.29 billion) have been completed and 59 projects worth Rs. 24,288 crore (US$ 3.31 billion) are being implemented.
In November 2020, the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi renamed the Ministry of Shipping as the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
In October 2020, the Ministry of Shipping announced plans to develop a National Logistics Portal (Marine) with end-to-end logistics solutions to help exporters, importers and service providers.
In August 2020, the government announced its plan to invest Rs. 10,000 crore (US$ 1.4 billion) to build transshipment port at the Great Nicobar Island in the Bay of Bengal to provide shippers an alternative ports in the region. The Transshipment port will enable big ships to anchor and raise India's share in maritime trade due to its proximity to the East-West international shipping route.