VISAKHAPATNAM: Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) chairman MT Krishna Babu has said that with the industry in the country buoyant and the economy projected to achieve a GDP of 8 per cent, the ports have to play a vital role in extending services and efficiently meeting the global standards.
The Centre has brought in a slew of reforms, giving a fillip to the growth of cargo volume at the major ports. Removal of export duty on certain grades of iron ore and parity with railway freight, removal of port congestion charges and suspension of logistic plan by the railways helped the Vizag port establish a healthy growth of 13 per cent, surpassing the growth of 5 per cent recorded by all major ports during the first four months this fiscal.
“The VPT has achieved the second highest growth among all major ports,” Krishna Babu said, while addressing the Independence Day celebrations at Diamond Jubilee Stadium on Monday.
The chairman said after completing the important dredging projects and paving way for handling fully loaded Panamax vessels in the inner harbour, the VPT will be ready to meet any challenge from its competitors.
“The VPT has been notified as the second transit port for the EXIM trade of Nepal. With this the EXIM container cargo originating from Nepal will be handled at the container terminal. Trade delegations from Bangladesh, the USA, China, Nepal and Singapore have visited the VPT to explore the possibility of using its infrastructure for their needs,” Krishna Babu said.
In the first four months of this fiscal, one MT of cargo was realised from the new customers. The VPT was given a target of 61 MT of cargo throughput in 2016-17.
It was the first among all major ports that has taken up 10 MW solar power plant.