The Shipping Ministry, which has already extended a helping hand towards the ailing ICTT Vallarpadam by relaxing the cabotage law, came up with a couple of other initiatives for the state.
Approval was given for the Rs 750-crore ship repair yard at Cochin Port Trust along with development of the Kochi campus of the Indian Maritime University. The Ministry has also selected the Vizhinjam light house and the Kadalur Point light house to be developed as tourist centres.
“The state and central governments made the correct decision by deciding to enhance coastal shipping and divert cargo through coastal shipping. The decision to develop minor ports in the state is also appreciable. Kerala has been lagging behind in this sector. There’s a loss of close to 45 billion dollars in the logistics sector due to lack of logistics initiatives in the state,” Shipping Corporation of India chairman S Hajara told ‘Express’.
The icing on the cake was the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the state government and the BPCL Kochi refinery for Rs 20,000-crore integrated refinery expansion project and petrochemical joint venture. The financial incentive is expected to have a significant bearing on the economic viability of the project, pointed out BPCL officials. Other major initiatives include the Air Kerala project which got a boost in the meet, the seaplanes proposed across the state and the tourism initiatives.