Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday urged the United States to invest in development of new ports and construction of new berths/terminals in the existing ones. Gadkari, who is on a trip to the US, said the government has agreed to provide maritime clusters for ancillary industrial support and design centres."The government has also agreed to financial assistance to meet the challenge of lack of competitive advantage due to heavy subsidies provided by major ship building countries to their ship building industry," said Gadkari.
According to the minister, India and the United States have agreed to deepen the scope of cooperation in the maritime sector with the American ports evincing keen interest in comprehensive port-led development, especially the ambitious Sagarmala programme. "A total of 150 projects under this programme have the potential of mobilizing USD 50-60 billion of infrastructure investment and another USD 100 billion of investment for promoting industrial growth," said the minister according to an official statement made available here.Gadkari also highlighted the vision of Sagarmala envisaging reduction of logistics cost for EXIM and domestic trade with minimal infrastructure investment aimed at creating four million new direct jobs and another six million indirect jobs.