Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
04-April-2018 17:41 IST
2nd Lead-up Conference  to 3rd Annual Meeting of Asia Inastructure Investment Bank— AIIB’s  on 'Enhancing Port and Coastal Infrastructure' concludes in Visakhapatnam ;

Panelists opined that there is a necessity to revisit the existing regulatory regimes through effective dialogue with stakeholders including private investors, domain experts and regulatory bodies cc among others.

The two-day Regional Conference on “Enhancing Port and Coastal Infrastructure” concluded in Visakhapatnam today throwing much light on SAGARMALA project,port & coastal infrastructure and Regulatory issues; Investment in Coastal Areas for Promoting Blue Economy; Developing the Shipping Ecosystem- Ship Repair and Dry Docks; Catalyzing the Modal Shift for Inland Waterways and Coastal Shipping; Strengthening India’s Maritime Support Infrastructure-Containerization,Bunkering and Dredging.  The Government of India is hosting the third Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on 25th & 26th June 2018 in Mumbai.This Conference was lead-up to the annual conference.


The conference saw eminent delegates representing partner institutions, academia, civil society organizations and experts from various fields expressing their views on how to address Asia’s infrastructure gap in an environmentally and socially friendly way for creating a sustainable future through sound infrastructure investment.


Recognizing the vital role of the private sector in bridging the infrastructure gap, the participants at the meet emphasized upon devising innovative solutions that mobilize private capital, in partnership with multilateral development banks, governments, private financiers and other stakeholders. As the private sector is not only the primary user of the economic infrastructure but is the key stakeholder in implementation, designing, operations, etc. Panelists during the course of deliberations also opined that there is a necessity to revisit the existing regulatory  mechanism regimes through effective dialogue with different stakeholders including private investors, domain experts and regulatory bodies among others.  It was also felt that the infrastructure needs and communication networks are to be prioritized keeping in mind the environmental demands while addressing development goals.     


Panelists representing varied fields under the chairmanship of Mr. Rajesh Tripathi, CMD, Dredging Corporation of India Ltd., Visakhapatnam, emphasized on the need for developing suitable ecosystem for a flourishing shipping trade with the support facilities like ship repair and dry docking infrastructure.  They dwelt upon the existing gaps which need to be filled up in the current scenario in order to catch up with leading nations in waterway transportation resorting to use of technology and innovative ideas like promoting unmanned vehicles.  


Identifying the importance of inland waterways development and the need to promote coastal shipping eminent panelists under the chairmanship of Mr. P.L. Haranath, Deputy Chairman, Visakhapatnam Port Trust, opined that despite having extensive network of inland waterways in the country they are primarily under-utilized and emphasized the need for a modal shift for maximizing the use of waterways, as transportation by waterways are cheaper while at the same time they invite huge capital investments.   The need for international financial funding for developing and maintaining inland waterways was also discussed.   


To build up on the country’s maritime support infrastructure panelists under the chairmanship of Capt. S.V. Subhedar, CEO, Indian Coastal Conference deliberated upon innovative methods to be incorporated for the increase in trade by focusing on the support systems of the shipping industry, viz., containerization, bunkering, and dredging.  Shri Sabyasachi Hajara, Director, Apeejay shipping felt that government’s handholding is needed with the support of major users of the waterways for cargo transport. As shipping is an international activity, he observed that worldwide the shipping community is moving towards zero emission norms. Cargo Competence and Capital are the three key factors for flourishing shipping industry.  He pointed that in the international arena of shipping sector India’s stake is just one per cent, which must be improved.  It was also opined that reduction of logistic cost and time is another aspect which needs to be studied so as to become globally competent.


Earlier, on Day- 1 of the session Shri Kailash Kumar Aggarwal Joint Secretary (Sagarmala), Ministry of Shipping, suggested that the SAGARMALA project, the flagship initiative of the Central government, would help achieve Blue Economy – sustainable development of oceans and water body resources, and significant reduction in logistics cost. Shri Aggarwal said port-led development and inland waterways were being encouraged to help save Rs. 35,000 crore per annum in terms of logistics cost and increase the share of water-borne transport with a freight modal mix from 6 to 12 per cent.  He said under SAGARMALA, the government wanted to take up various projects in the next 20 years.


At the end of the day it was agreed up on that the Port and Coastal Sector play a key role in a country’s economic and social development.  It was also felt that as sea-borne trade grows, there is a need to modernize and develop ports for efficient capacity utilization.  Use of advanced technology for ship building and repairing besides improving overall coastal infrastructure assumed significance during the discussions.


During the valedictory Shri Shakil Alam, Director, M/o Finance and Dr. Vishwapati Trivedi, Former Secretary, M/o Shipping summed up the two-day session and Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Former Secretary, M/o Earth Sciences delivered the Valedictory Address. 


The event concluded with Shri G. Murali Krishna, Chairman CII-Visakhapatnam giving the vote of thanks.