Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday said India can be among the top ten countries in the global ranking of maritime merchandise trade with giant strides taken by the government for modernisation and capacity building in the sector.
Sonowal, the minister for ports, shipping and waterways, said the Centre is carrying out development in a sustainable way to meet the 2070 net zero emission target.
"With the massive modernisation and development taking place, we can be among the top 10 countries in the maritime merchandise trade," Sonowal said at the 121st annual general meeting of the Merchants' Chamber of Commerce and Industry here.
He did not mention any timeline for achieving the milestone.
Currently, India's ranking in the maritime trade volume is 18, according to reports.
The minister stated that projects like 'Sagarmala' and 'PM Gati Shakti' are "delivering results and will bring sea change after rolling out of all the programmes in the next few years".
"In 2014, our cargo handling capacity in ports was 800 million tonne and in 2022, it is 1,600 million tonne," the minister said.
In the inland waterways, the cargo handling has now grown to 109 million tonne from a mere 16 million tonne capacity in 2014, he said.
Sonowal also said that an MoU was signed involving Paradip, Kandla, Tuticorin ports and Cochin shipyard to achieve sustainable goals.
The minister had recently announced India’s first National Centre of Excellence for Green Port & Shipping.
The centre aims at developing a regulatory framework and a roadmap for alternative technology adoption for "green shipping" to foster carbon neutrality.
The minister also stated that a river cruise covering a distance of 3,200 km from Varanasi will commence in January and end in Assam's Dibrugarh.
Sonowal, who also holds the portfolio of the Ayush ministry, stated that the market for Ayush has grown to Rs 1.6 lakh crore in the last eight years with support from the Centre.
The Ministry of Ayush has focused on education and research in ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha, and homoeopathy.