Major ports revenue rose by 8.7 percent in 2014-15: Gadkari

New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS) The government on Wednesday reported a 8.7 percent increase in revenue generation from 12 major ports in the country during 2014-15, and said the trend showed a reversal in performance of the shipping industry’s sub-segment.

Furthermore, the government has set a target to generate a net profit of Rs.2,500 crore from the 12 major ports in the next two years. Currently, the net profit of major ports stands at Rs.1,500 crore.

“The country’s major ports will add Rs.1,000 crore to their net profit in the next two years and 100 million tonne of capacity,” Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Minister Minister Nitin Gadkari said at an event held here to highlight the modernisation of major ports.

The profit margins of major ports had declined from 43 percent to 28 percent during 2008 to 2014 and the market share during the period dropped from 72 percent to 57 percent.

According to Gadkari, volume of cargo handled by major ports increased by 4.6 percent in 2014-15.

The minister cited the government’s modernisation program as the reason for the increase in operational efficiency of major ports.

Gadkari elaborated that the government has delegated more powers to port authorities, provided capital for dredging, initiated new scheme to mitigate oil pollution and setting up of coastal berths and passenger jetties.

The government has also establishment Indian Port Rail Corporation to focus on last mile connectivity and India Ports Global to take up projects abroad.

Minister further said that the government has initiated the Sagarmala project in West Bengal to promote port led development, equipments and technology upgradation, mechanisation for handling of large vessels.

“The major ports will generate 200 megawatt of green power which include 150 MW solar power and 50 MW wind energy,” Gadkari said.

Shipping Secretary Rajive Kumar said that the government is promoting coastal and inland waterways trade.

Kumar added that the government’s modernisation plans envisages a capacity expansion of the entire sector including major and minor ports from 1,400 MT to 2,000 MT by 2018.

India currently has 12 major ports and 200 minor ports spanning around the entire coastline which is around 7,500 km long.

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