Development of port sector critical for nation development: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Bhubaneswar: Mr Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, Government of India today said that the long coastline of Odisha is going to be the epicenter of development and the development of ports and inland water transport sector would be given high priority.

Addressing the virtual session on ‘Investment Opportunities in Odisha’ during the Maritime India Summit 2021, organized by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, jointly with FICCI, Mr Pradhan while referring to the rich maritime history of Odisha said, “The development of eastern part of India is largely linked to the development of ports and the overall economic growth of the country won’t be possible without port-led development in eastern India. In the 21st century, globally the primary network for transportation will be maritime and there has been sizeable investment planned by the government of India for improvement in port-connectivity.”

Mr Pradhan informed that Rs 300 crore has been sanctioned by the government for developing a dedicated economic corridor from Paradip to Barbil which would ease raw material, mineral and goods transport for large number of big industries and industrial parks existing in the region. He also reiterated that there has been lot of encouragement for private players to venture into port development. The government aims to restrict its role only to create facilities and make policy formations to support the industrial development process, he added.

Mr Padmanabha Behera, Minister for Commerce and Transport, Government of Odisha said that the development of port sector would help sustainable and inclusive growth of industries in the state. Various power plants, metal industries and petrochemical units are coming up within the state which would largely depend on water transport for economic viability, he added.

The state government has formulated a policy for development of non-major ports wherein, private investors are encouraged to venture into port development through PPP (public private partnership) mode. In addition to Paradip Port in the major port under the Central Government, there are two functional non-major ports in the state, Dhamra Port and Gopalpur Port which are being managed by private companies under revenue sharing mode with the state government. Two more non-major ports are in the pipeline at Subarnarekha in Balasore districts and Astaranga Port in Puri district of the state, the minister informed.

He added that the on-going development of National Waterway No-5 will enhance the inland water transport facility further and help economic growth of the state.

Mr Madhu Sudan Padhi, Principal Secretary, Commerce and Transport Department, said that the state government had conducted a study with the help of IIT Chennai to ascertain the feasibility of setting up ports in different locations along the vast coastline of Odisha’s 480 kms. Basis, the study findings the state government has invited private players to develop non-major ports in the suggested locations and operate in the BOOST (build, own, operate, share and transfer) mode.

 

Mr Hemant Sharma, Principal Secretary, Industries Department said that ports play a significant role in the development of industries. Since, Odisha is considered the hub of mineral and metal production, there is a need for port development within the state to boost industrial development. Emphasis is also given for hinterland connectivity wherein, ports connected with good road and rail network and gas pipeline for inclusive industrial growth and nation development, he said.

 

Mr Dilip Oomen, CEO, AMNS; Mr VR Sharma, MD Jindal Steel and Power Ltd along with Mr Dibyendu Bose, VP (Supply Chain) Tata Steel Ltd also shared their experiences of investing in the port and industrial sector in Odisha.

 

Mr Vineet Kumar, Chairman, Paradip Port Trust and Mr AK Bose, Deputy Chairman, Paradip Port Trust were the convenors for the Odisha State session at Maritime India Summit 2021.