October 7, 2008
India to push on with shipbuilding expansion
India intends to press ahead with ambitious plans to expand shipbuilding capacity and revival of a shipbuilding subsidy that was discontinued last year is back on track. That, at least, is the word from India's Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, Thiru T.R. Baalu. He told a New Delhi conference that his Ministry is pursuing revival of the shipbuilding subsidy and would be circulating a proposal for a revised scheme "very soon."
The Ministry is also making efforts to streamline industry taxes and fiscal structure to offset the disadvantages presently being faced by the shipbuilding industry.
Thiru Baalu told the conference that under the National Maritime Development Program (NMDP), India has already decided to set up two international size shipyards with land and infrastructure issues being finalized with state governments.
The Minister said that though India’s share in of global newbuilding orders is "miniscule at present," it is expected to rise sharply in the near future. The key drivers of this increase will be from the coastal shipping and small craft segment for the smaller yards and also from the large conventional vessel segment, he said and added that improved capacity utilization, capacity expansion and establishment of new yards are required to meet the increased demand.
Thiru Baalu expressed the hope that the commissioning of new facilities together with the expansion plans of existing shipyards will "change for ever the face of the Indian shipbuilding industry beyond recognition."