Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has said that the Financial Year 2015-16 has been historic for the Port sector in the country, with 94 MTPA capacity added through 34 capital investment projects which is the highest in major ports history. Briefing newspersons after the 2nd meeting of the National Sagarmala Apex Committee (NSAC) in New Delhi today, the Minister said that Kandla became the 1st Major Port to reach 100 Mn Tonne traffic in a year helped by 20% improvement in port efficiency while JNPT became the 1st Major Port to reach Rs. 1,000 Crore of net profit helped by 12% of efficiency improvement. He added that Paradip Port achieved highest coal loading volumes of 24 Mn Tonne with 30% efficiency improvement. He informed that port efficiency improvement has added 50 MTPA of cargo handling capacity leading to high returns for ports with comparatively low investments.
Stating that the ports have continued their recovery, Shri Gadkari informed that operating profit margins for Major Ports improved from 27% in FY 2013-14 to 39% in FY 2015-16. The Major Ports have increased their operating profits from Rs. 3593 Crore in 2014-15 to Rs. 4,268 Crore in 2015-16, registering increase of about Rs,. 670 Crore. He said that efficiency improvement has lowered logistics cost for the trade, creating a estimated benefit of Rs. 400-500 Crore per year and turnaround time has reduced by over 40% in Paradip, Tuticorin and Vizag. Shri Gadkari said projects worth Rs. 72,818 Crore have been awarded for port modernization and new port/ terminal development. While emphasizing on need for pushing port and port led development, Shri Gadkari said that the forthcoming Maritime India Summit would be a game changer. He added that port led development has potential for direct employment generation for 40 lakh persons while indirectly for 60 lakh persons.
The NSAC also approved the National Perspective Plan on Sagarmala. The meeting was attended by Union Ministers including Minister of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation Shri Chaudhary Birender Singh, Minister of Civil Aviation Sh. P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Minister of Steel and Mines Sh. Narendra Singh Tomar, MoS for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge) Sh. Prakash Javadekar, MoS for Tourism, Culture (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Odisha Chief Minister Sh. Naveen Patnaik, Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog Sh. Arvind Panagariya, and several state ministers.