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Govt aims for port-led industrialisation through coastal economic zones

Business Standard:  July 22, 2016

New Delhi: The government is aiming to make manufacturing cost-competitive and provide impetus to the ‘Make In India’ initiative by establishing coastal economic zones (CEZs), thus promoting port-led industrialisation. As a part of this effort, the Ministry of Shipping yesterday organised a workshop on ‘Coastal economic zones’ under its Sagarmala Programme in New Delhi. 

“There is immense scope for logistic cost reduction under Sagarmala and CEZ is an effort to reduce cost by locating the manufacturing centres closer to the ports thereby making Indian trade competitive in the global market,” said Rajive Kumar, secretary, Ministry of Shipping, during the event. 

The workshop apprised the participants that these CEZs will be aligned to relevant ports in the maritime states and will house Coastal Economic Units for setting up manufacturing facilities. The CEZs have been conceptualised as a spatial-economic region which could extend along 300-500 km of coastline and around 200-300 km inland from the coastline. Each CEZ will be an agglomeration of coastal districts within a state. 

“Sagarmala is a holistic and integrated programme that will transform the way the logistics are handled in the country. Despite tough global economic situation, developing the manufacturing sector can boost growth rates and harness India’s demographic dividend,” Kumar opined. 

Leveraging the port eco-system these CEZs will provide the geographical boundary within which port led industrialization will be developed. The CEZs have been envisaged to tap synergies with the planned industrial corridors like Vizag Chennai Industrial Corridor and Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor. 

According to Dr Alok Srivastava, additional secretary, while the Sagarmala Programme has been conceptualised by the centre, active participation from the states is highly essential to make this a success. “Sagarmala is an intricate programme which has the potential to drive the socio-eco development in the country in a holistic manner,” he added.

By incorporation of the inputs from the various maritime state governments, the CEZ perspective plans will be finalised. Sagarmala Development Company, which was recently approved by the Cabinet, will prepare a detailed master plan for CEZ development.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.