KOCHI: Union Minister of Shipping Nitin Gadkari said India has a long way to go in terms of its share in global ship making sector. He was addressing a gathering as part of the ground-breaking ceremony of the new 310-metre dry dock at Cochin Shipyard Ltd on Tuesday.
According to Gadkari, India has a meagre contribution as far as the global share in ship making sector is concerned. “South Korea, China and Japan have 92 per cent share in the shipbuilding sector. We have 25 commercial shipbuilding yards and 30 plus dry docks. But our share in global shipbuilding sector is less than 1 per cent. Shipbuilding in India has a turnover of around Rs 3,200 crore and it is likely to increase 3-5 times reaching Rs 15,000 crore. It will create 1 lakh jobs in shipbuilding and repairing sector,” he said. However, the Minister lamented the sorry state of the shipbuilding sector “Andaman and Nicobar has to take their ships to China for repairs. Our shipbuilding and repairing sectors are in a critical condition,” he said.
He said logistics cost in India is pulling it back from developed nations globally. “In China, the logistics cost is 8-9 per cent, in Europe, it is 10-12 per cent. While in India the logistic cost is 16-18 per cent. New technology should come to improve the logistics in India,” he said.He suggested the use of methanol can bring the logistics cost down to a certain extent.
“In India, methanol costs around Rs 22 per litre while diesel costs more than Rs 65. We have plants in Assam which can produce 100 tonnes of methanol per day,” Gadkari ensured there will be no privatisation of CSL. “We don’t want to privatise any profit-making company. We have a clear-cut policy about privatisation. While we also have to raise capital investment,” he said. He said all the ports in India are running in profit. Similarly, as far as CSL is concerned, there is an expectation of getting Rs 3,000 crore turnover this year. According to the minister, the Government of India is looking to build all kind of shipping vessels in India. It is also looking for investment in Inland Waterways of Kerala.
Gadkari also thanked Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for completing the petroleum pipeline which will give an additional revenue to Cochin Port. “By completing the petroleum pipeline work, Cochin Port Trust will be getting Rs 60-70 crore additional revenue,” he said. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the extension for CSL will enable it to challenge leading shipbuilders in Middle-East and other parts of the globe. “It is claimed with the introduction of the new dry dock in CSL, India’s share in global shipbuilding sector will rise from 0.4 per cent to 2 per cent. We can be proud that extension work will be completed in just two years time period. CSL is a pride of Kerala and contributed to the development of Kerala,” he said.
Pinarayi said the government is seriously considering developing Island Waterways of the state. “We are working on an inland waterway project from Kasargod to Thiruvananthapuram. The waterway can be used for passenger transportation and goods movement. The tourism sector will also benefit from the project,” he said.
K V Thomas MP, Hibi Eden MLA, Kochi Mayor Soumini Jain and CSL CMD Madhu Nair also spoke on the occasion. Earlier, Kanchan Gadkari, the wife of Nitin Gadkari launched two vessels for Andaman and Nicobar Administration. These vessels are capable to carry 500 passengers.