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MoPSW Organizes Pivotal Workshop to Revitalize Indian Shipbuilding Industry

New Delhi: The Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways (MoPSW) successfully organized a crucial workshop focused on revitalizing the Indian shipbuilding industry. The event, chaired by Secretary TK Ramachandran, brought together key stakeholders, representatives from various government ministries, departments, shipping operators, and PSU/private sector shipyards to discuss strategies for rejuvenating the shipbuilding and repair ecosystem within India. This initiative aligns with the ambitious Maritime India Vision 2030 (MIV 2030) and Amrit Kaal Vision 2047.

“Under the leadership of Prime Minister, India is set to become a global economic superpower, with a robust maritime sector playing a crucial role in this journey. Atma Nirbharta emphasizes self-reliance, extending to the shipping and shipbuilding industries. Despite efforts and developments in port infrastructure and inland waterways, we remain dependent on foreign vessels and have yet to capture a significant share of the global shipbuilding market. Recognizing this, the Ministry is now focusing on enhancing our shipbuilding and ship repair infrastructure to meet the ambitious goals of MIV 2030 and MAKV 2047. Through this interactive workshop, MoPSW aims to present specific policies based on stakeholder inputs and invite further valuable contributions to drive demand and capacity growth in these sectors,” stated TK Ramachandran, Secretary of MoPSW.

The Ministry’s presentation highlighted the growing trend of Indian overseas and coastal cargo, while noting that the share of cargo carried by Indian-owned/flagged vessels has been declining over the past decade, currently standing at only about 5.4%. Without intervention, this share may fall further, resulting in Indian-owned/Indian-built ships losing relevance even in India’s own shipping market.

Owning the fleet needed for national trade offers several key advantages, such as fleet availability in times of crisis, protection against embargos, and safeguarding India’s valuable foreign exchange reserves currently spent on chartering and freight management charges to foreign nations. Moreover, targeting the immense demand from the Indian shipping market could present an opportunity worth over USD 237 billion (~INR 20 lakh crores) by 2047 for Indian shipyards.

The workshop saw attendance from more than 100 participants representing 50 organizations, including various government ministries and departments, shipping operators, and PSU/private sector shipyards. Participants included representatives from the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Coal, DG Shipping, Shipyards Association of India, National Centre of Excellence in Green Port and Shipping, Royal IHC Netherland, HPCL, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, GAIL, Garden Reach Shipyard, Indian National Ship Owners’ Association, Hindustan Shipyard Limited, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Dredging Corporation of India Limited, among others.

The event aimed to bring demand generators and suppliers/builders onto a collaborative platform to generate ideas ensuring that the large demand from the Indian shipping industry translates into opportunities for the Indian shipbuilding industry.

Stakeholders deliberated on the limitations of Indian shipyards, the incentives needed on both supply and demand sides, and the assistance that MoPSW could provide to facilitate this growth. The insights received from the industry were noted, and the Ministry hopes to address the issues raised, incorporating them into their 100-day agenda to develop and nurture the ecosystem, achieving the ambitious targets of MIV 2030 and making India one of the top 10 shipbuilding nations by 2030, and one of the top 5 by 2047.

Despite previous efforts through schemes such as the Shipbuilding Financial Assistance Policy, Right of First Refusal (ROFR) policy, and granting infrastructure status to shipyards, commercial shipbuilding in India remains weak compared to global majors, accounting for less than 1% of the global market. This is largely due to lack of demand. Consequently, MoPSW is examining policy measures to strengthen domestic demand and bolster domestic fleets.

Notable advancements in developing indigenous low-emission or zero-emission ships by Indian shipbuilding companies highlight India’s potential to lead in sustainable and green shipbuilding. MoPSW is working on an integrated approach to unite shipbuilding stakeholders through the development of maritime clusters.

Aligning with MIV 2030 and Amrit Kaal Vision 2047, the workshop emphasized these visionary frameworks’ importance in driving India’s maritime growth. MIV 2030 aims to elevate India’s global ranking in shipbuilding and repair from over 20th to the top 10, and MAKV 2047 targets India to be among the top 5 countries in shipbuilding, handling 1300 MMTPA of coastal cargo, and carrying a greater proportion of Indian overseas cargo on Indian-owned/built ships.

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