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Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal Engages Stakeholders Ahead of Budget for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways

New Delhi: In anticipation of the upcoming budget, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal convened a productive pre-budget meeting today in New Delhi with a diverse array of stakeholders. The meeting aimed to foster open discussions and gather valuable insights from experts across various sectors.

Highlighting the government’s commitment to collaboration, Minister Sarbananda Sonowal encouraged stakeholders to contribute suggestions and ideas crucial for nation-building. The Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways is dedicated to developing sustainable, world-class maritime and inland waterways infrastructure to bolster EXIM trade and support economic growth.

The Ministry is leading several strategic initiatives to fortify India’s maritime sector, focusing on sustainable infrastructure. Key initiatives include the ₹5100 crore Sagarmala Programme, aimed at enhancing port connectivity and efficiency. Additionally, the Shipbuilding Financial Assistance Policy supports domestic shipyards, while the Harit Nauka initiative promotes green fuel transportation in inland waterways.

Projects like the Vadhavan Mega Transshipment Port and Galathea Bay Transshipment Port are set to significantly boost employment and increase handling capacities. The Cruise India Mission aims to triple cruise traffic, contributing to tourism and economic growth. Moreover, policy reforms in taxation and GST, alongside support for shipbuilding and green initiatives, underscore the Ministry’s commitment to economic growth and environmental sustainability.

“The enthusiastic participation and valuable contributions from stakeholders are commendable. This interaction has provided insightful perspectives that will shape an inclusive and growth-oriented budget aligned with the Prime Minister’s ambitious vision of Maritime India Vision (MIV) 2030 and Amrit Kaal Vision 2047,” remarked Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

“The government’s focus on building a robust maritime ecosystem underscores our commitment to economic growth and sustainability. Projects like the Vadhavan Mega Transshipment Port and Cruise India Mission will elevate India’s stature as a global maritime hub,” added Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

Discussions during the meeting centered on identifying growth opportunities, addressing challenges, and exploring innovative solutions. This aligns with MIV 2030 Vision, aimed at propelling India towards a $5 trillion economy, and Amrit Kaal Vision 2047, envisioning India as a developed nation with a thriving shipping sector.

The meeting witnessed active participation from over 150 stakeholders, including major ports, the shipping sector, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Directorate General of Shipping (DG Shipping), and representatives from industry bodies like FICCI, CII, and Assocham. Stakeholders shared views on crucial issues such as economic growth and infrastructure development.

The pre-budget meeting exemplifies the government’s commitment to engaging with diverse groups and ensuring their voices are heard. Feedback and suggestions gathered will play a pivotal role in shaping the upcoming budget, contributing to the nation’s progress and prosperity as India strives to achieve its visionary goals.

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