The Union government does not intend to privatise public institutions that perform well. But when there is a need for capital, it has to be raised from the market for capital investments, which in the long term will facilitate employment generation, Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari has said.
Mr. Gadkari, who along with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, ceremonially broke the ground for the public sector Cochin Shipyard’s new dry dock here on Tuesday, said India could do well in ship repair and building to create one lakh jobs in the sector.
“South Korea, China and Japan together have about 92% of the shipbuilding industries. We have about 25 commercial shipbuilding yards and our share in the world market is less than 1%. Shipbuilding industry in India has a turnover of ₹3,200 crore which can be increased to ₹15,000 crore in the next few years,” Mr. Gadkari said.
The Union Minister said there was an overwhelming response to the IPO issued by the Cochin Shipyard and the money thus generated was being used for the construction of the dry dock and the International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF).
He urged the yard to harness emerging technologies and try use methanol as marine fuel so as to bring down logistics costs.
“The logistics cost in India is very high. It is about 8% to 10% in China, 12% to 14% in Europe and 16% to 18% in India. We have methanol available within the country at Rs 22 a litre [less than what it costs in China] and this should help bring down logistics costs,” he said.
Mr. Gadkari thanked Mr. Vijayan for taking the initiative to complete a major part of the work on the petroleum pipeline to the Cochin port, as it would “help increase the income of the port, which is not financially in a good position, by about ₹60 crore to ₹70 crore”. He said with the State’s support, inland vessels, catamarans and seaplanes could be built domestically.
Mr. Vijayan mentioned the steps taken by the State to open the waterway between Kasaragod and Thiruvananthapuram for goods and passenger traffic and tourism purposes.
Inland waterways development was a major area of focus for the State. He also recalled the generous approach taken by the people of yore to development. “They were willing to cede land and even the places where their ancestors’ graves existed for the setting up of the yard,” he recalled.
Source: The Hindu