As the shipping sector grows and evolves in the country, a need was felt to have a separate legislation on coastal shipping, which considers it an integral part of the transport chain and recognizes the policy priorities of the sector to meet the demands of the Indian shipping industry.
Why in News?
- The Ministry of Shipping has drafted a Coastal Shipping Bill, 2020 in lieu of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958. The bill is in accordance with the Prime Minister’s vision for augmenting people’s participation and transparency in the governance.
- The Ministry of Shipping has drafted a Coastal Shipping Bill, 2020 in lieu of part XIV of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.
Key highlights of the Bill are as under:
- The definition of coastal shipping and coastal waters has been expanded.
- It is proposed to do away with the requirement of trading licence for Indian flag vessels for coastal trade.
- The Bill seeks to create a competitive environment and reduce transportation costs, while encouraging Indian vessels to increase their share in coastal shipping.
- The Bill also proposes integration of coastal maritime transport with inland waterways.
There is a provision for a National Coastal and Inland Shipping Strategic Plan.