Investment Opportunities in India

January 28, 2013

Investments Opportunities in Indian Shipping Industry for NRIs

The Indian Shipping segment, with 187 minor ports and 13 major ports spread across nine maritime states, is poised to mark exponential growth in the years to come. The Government of India is geared to attract foreign investors in India by embarking on public-private partnership (PPP) route for modernisation and expansion of the Indian ports.

The total capacity of the port sector is envisaged to be 2,301.63 million tonnes (MT), to meet the overall projected traffic of 1,758.26 MT by 2016-17, as per the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) document. “The traffic forecast by the end of the 12th Plan would be 943.06 MT and 815.20 MT for the major and non-major ports respectively, with corresponding port capacities of 1,241.83 MT and 1,059.80 MT respectively,” it added.

According to the Planning Commission, the capacity of Indian ports will have to nearly double to 2,302 MT over the next five years to be able to handle the fast growing cargo traffic.

The shipping industry of India has witnessed various deals and developments pertaining to foreign direct investment in India.

Indian Shipping Industry Goes Global

As the Government of India is determined to get Indian shipping industry at par with the global standards, it is in continuous discussions with foreign investors in India and across the world to achieve the growth targets.

The Ministry of Shipping expects that the bi-lateral co-operation would enable Indian organisations to acquire appropriate know-how, scientific knowledge and research and development (R&D) capabilities from the European country.

Moreover, India has recently shown interest to adopt new technology regarding decongestion of ports; information technology for the movement of container traffic and maritime training from Germany.

Investment Opportunities in Indian Shipping Industry

At the beginning of the financial year (2010-11), the Ministry of Shipping fixed a target of 21 projects under PPP for the major ports out of which two projects have been awarded so far at Tuticorin Port and Ennore Port.

The Government of India is focusing on port infrastructure development in the country and is promoting private participation and foreign direct investment in India. The Government has allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investments under the automatic route for:

  • Leasing of existing assets of ports
  • Construction/ creation and maintenance of assets such as-container terminals bulk/ break bulk/ multi-purpose and specialised cargo berths, warehousing, container freight stations, storage facilities and tank farms, cranage/ handling equipment, setting up of captive power plants, dry docking and ship repair facilities
  • Leasing of equipment for port handling and leasing of floating crafts
  • Captive facilities for port based industries

Investment Policy Updates

According to a Ministry of Shipping’s press communication a new programme – Perspective 2020 – will replace the existing NMDP plan. The Maritime Agenda 2010-2020 is a perspective plan of the Shipping Ministry for the present decade which has set the goals as follows:

  • To create a port capacity of around 3,200 MT to handle the expected traffic of about 2,500 MT by 2020
  • To bring ports at par with the best international ports in terms of performance and capacity
  • To increase the tonnage under the Indian flag and Indian control and also the share of Indian ships in our EXIM trade
  • To promote coastal shipping as it will help in decongesting our roads and is environment friendly
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