VISAKHAPATNAM: The ongoing Sagarmala project, launched in 2015, will drastically reduce the logistics cost in the Country and make the industry competitive, according to Kailash Kumar Aggarwal, Joint Secretary in the Union Ministry of Shipping, who is in charge of the project.
At present, logistics cost in the Country is in the range of 14-16 per cent against 8-10 per cent in other Countries.
Aggarwal was speaking at a seminar on enhancing port and coastal infrastructure, organised by the Union Ministry of Finance, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here recently. The seminar was organised as a run-up to the annual conference of the AIIB to be held in Mumbai in June.
Aggarwal said that as part of Sagarmala, estimated to cost over Rs. 8 lakh crore, 562 projects would be taken up in the Country between 2015 and 2035.
“Port modernisation and capacity augmentation, port connectivity (including Coastal Shipping and inland waterways), port-led industrialisation and development of coastal communities such as fishermen are the four main components of the Sagarmala,” he said.
The capacity of the ports would go up to 3,500 million tonnes by 2025 from 2,000 mt now.
“A total of 112 port projects have been taken up, of which 50 have been completed and the rest are in various stages of implementation. The total estimated cost of these projects is Rs. 70,000 crore,” he explained.
Multi-Modal Logistics Parks
Aggarwal added that 15 Multi-Modal Logistics Parks would also be set up at a cost of Rs. 3,553 crore, as part of Sagarmala, which would truly transform the sector.
He said the AIIB, the ADB and other multilateral development banks would have to play a key role in the project.
Yee Ean Pang, Director General of Investment, AIIB, said the bank was ready for big investments in the Indian port sector and in developing supporting infrastructure. But suitable projects would have to be identified and the private sector should also take a lead role in the matter.