Ports and Maritime Sector
The Maritime sector has stayed largely an invisible growth-engine for the India economy; with its relevance and importance not being registered fully in policy and developmental initiatives. Despite this, the sector has quietly witnessed significant foreign investment & profitable operations of many of the leading global port & shipping operators.
The sector performed admirably last year. The major ports in the country handled 336.71 MT of cargo during April - December 2006, which was 2.6% lower than the target set for the period, but it was 8.3% higher than the achievement for the corresponding period of the previous year. The growth rate was lower compared to 12.6% achieved during April - December 2005.Performance of all major ports except Vishakhapatnam and New Manglore recorded positive growth. The overall coastal shipment of coal during this period at 12.50 MT was lower than the target shipment for the corresponding period of the previous year by 15.5% and 12.3% respectively because of less availability of coal for shipments. India's port sector will expand its capacity by 485 million MT in Major Ports, 345 million MT in Minor Ports.
Growth targets for ports include capacity addition of 485 million MT in Major Ports, 345 million MT in Minor Ports. To this end, the total investment as proposed in the financing Plan for Ports is projected at Rs. 86,989 crore at 2006-07 price level (or US$ 21.22 billion) during the Eleventh Plan, with Rs. 55,245 crore being invested in major ports and Rs. 31,744 crore in minor ports