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PM assures early amendment of shipping laws: Kerala CM - 2012-07-09

The Kerala Chief Minister, Mr Oommen Chandy, has said that the Prime Minister has assured him that he would direct the Shipping Ministry to expedite relaxation in shipping laws.

The Chief Minister said this today while inaugurating the Kochi office of the Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO).

Mr Chandy said that during his visit to New Delhi last week, he had met Dr Singh to discuss the issue regarding amendment of cabotage (shipping trade and coastal navigation) laws.

Amendment of cabotage laws is needed for facilitating foreign feeder vessels to carry transhipment containers between Vallarpadam and other Indian ports.

“Prime Minister promised us that he will direct Shipping Ministry to expedite this,” Mr Chandy said.

Change in cabotage law

The matter has been represented before the Centre and in-principle it has agreed to change the law. The change in cabotage law is ‘highly necessary’ for optimum utilisation of the Vallarpadam terminal, he said.

Kerala exports spices, cashew and handlooms items, among others, but the state needs to increase exports for which there is need to develop infrastructure, including coastal transport, he said.

Besides the Vallarpadam terminal here, two other major ports at Vizhinam in Thiruvananthapuram and Azhikkal in Kannur and other minor ports would be developed in the state to promote coastal transport and boost export.

Formalities with regard to tender process of the Vizhinjam project was over and final discussions were on.

The Minister for Consumer Affairs, Prof K.V. Thomas, also stressed upon the need to have better infrastructure for improving exports and said the state needs highways of international standards.