IBEF: April 08, 2020
In the wake of unprecedented crisis due to Covid-19, the Ministry of Shipping has been taking pro-active steps to ensure smooth running of shipping and port operations, ease the hardships, and at the same time, following the restrictions imposed during the lockdown.
1. Traffic Handled by Major Ports
The total traffic handled at Major Ports from April to March 2020 was 704.63 Million Tonnes as against 699.10 Million Tonnes handled during the corresponding period of the previous year, showing an overall growth of 0.82 per cent in the traffic handled.
During April to March 2020, Container tonnage and TEUS were 146934 and 9988 thousand respectively, whereas it was 145451 and 9877 thousand during April to March 2019. There was growth of 1.02 per cent in Container tonnage and 1.12 per cent in Container TEUs.
In March 2020, the total traffic was 61120 tonnes which is more than 57233 tonnes in February 2020 but 5.25 per cent less than March,2019 (64510 tonnes).
2. No. of vessels handled
The number of vessels handled by ports during 2019-20 was around 20837, whereas during 2018-19, number of vessels handled was 20853. The vessel traffic declined slightly by 0.08 per centin comparison to last year.
Measures taken to handle the COVID-19
Total of 46,202 passengers have been scanned between 27/01/2020 to 04/04/2020 using Thermal Scanners at Indian Ports. Out of which, 39,225 people were scanned at Major Ports.
Ministry of Shipping, vide order no: PD-14300/4/2020-PD VII, dated 31st March 2020 issued directions to the Major Ports:
Ministry of Shipping, vide order no: PD-14300/4/2020-PD VII, dated 31stMarch,2020 issued directions to the Major Ports:
The period of Force Majeure starts from the date of order of Ministry of Finance referred above and will end when the competent authority so orders
Hospitals across the Major Port Trusts have been supplied with the Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and the arrangement of sufficient staff round the clock has been made. In some Port Hospitals, a part of the hospital can be earmarked for Covid-19 with separate entry and exit.
Ports and PSUs under the Ministry of Shipping have contributed more than Rs 52 crore (US$ 7.44 million) from the CSR funds towards PM CARES Fund.
Employees of Ports, PSUs and other offices of the Ministry of Shipping have contributed over Rs 7 crore (US$ 1 million) from their salaries towards PM CARES Fund.
DG Shipping vide Order No. 02 of 2020 dated 16.03.2020, Order No.03 of 2020 dated 20/03/2020 and Order No. 04 of 2020 dated 20/03/2020 issued Instructions on dealing with novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The Directorate prepared a guidance document for shipping industry to help combat the spread of the Coronavirus. The document contains the advice on managing port entry restrictions, practical protective measures against COVID-19 for seafarers, pre-boarding screening, and education and what to do in suspected cases of infection, hygiene measures for seafarers on ships, managing high risk exposure, case handling, isolation and cleaning, disinfection and waste Management etc. All the stakeholders including Indian Shipping companies, RPS Service providers, MTIs, seafarers were directed to strictly comply with the instructions. DG Shipping issued Addendum No. 1 to DGS Order No. 04 of 2020 dated 21/03/2020 updating countries list with mandatory quarantine and travel ban by MoHFW, Govt. of India.
In order to ensure that the EXIM trade does not suffer due to certain unavoidable delays in loading and discharge of cargo due to the lockdown.
DG Shipping vide order no. 07 of 2020, dated 29/03/2020 issued advisory to the Indian ports and Shipping lines not to impose any container detention charge on import and export shipments from 22ndMarch, 2020 to 14th April 2020 (both day inclusive). During this period Shipping Lines were also advised not to impose any new or additional charge.
Relief given to the Shipping Companies:
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.