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India - Infrastructure - Ports


The lion coastline of India is dotted with 11 major ports  which are managed by the Port Trust of India under Central Government jurisdiction and 139 minor operable ports under the jurisdiction of the respective State Governments. The major ports are located at Calcutta/Haldia, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port at Nhava Sheva, Chennai, Cochin, Vishakhapatnam, Kandla, Mormugao, Paradip, New Mangalore, and Tuticorin. The major ports handle 90 per cent of the all- India port throughput, and thus bear the brunt of sea borne trade.
Ports & Shipping

There are eleven major ports and 148 minor ports in India. The responsibility for development and management of major ports rests with respective Port Trusts under the Central Government.  The state government administers the minor ports.

Major ports handled approximately 82 percent of the All-India ports was about 8 percent more than the traffic handled in 1998-99.  The average turn around time and output per ship-berth-day at major ports have shown improvement during 1999-00 as compared to the previous year.


The average turn around time has come down from five days to 4 days.  Similarly the output per ship berth day has increased from 4915 tonnes in 1998 to 5337 tonnes in 1999-2000.

The Ninth Plan estimate shows that 424 million tones (MT) Port capacity is required by the end of 9th Five Year Plan period (2002).  Against this, the capacity of the existing ports is 215 MT. Some capacity yielding schemes carried over from the 8th Plan are under implementation, raising the capacity to 252 MT. This leaves a gap of 172 MT. It is now proposed to implement new Schemes in Major Ports for addition of 122 MT capacities requiring an estimated investment of Rs. 16,000 crores.  Capacity addition of about 50 MT is proposed through development of minor ports and building captive port facilities by the user industries.

The government has finalized a scheme for joint venture formations between major port and minor foreign ports.  An amendment to the Major Port Trusts Act for this purpose has also been carried out recently.

Sixteen private sector projects involving an additional capacity of 58 million tones and an investment of Rs. 4427 crore have been approved by the government.

For private participation from foreign ports in developing ports and facilities, the government has liberalized the entry norms.  The Foreign Port (s) may implement the Scheme by promoting Indian company in the form of Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), without equity contribution from Major Port Trust; or A Joint Venture Company (JVC) may be incorporated under the Indian Companies Act with equity participation from Major Port Trust.

The major Port Trust will maintain a controlling stake ion the JVC necessary for blocking a Special Resolution.

India is one of the leading maritime nations of the world with 6.8 Million Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) rating 17th in the world. Indian ships carry about 30% of the cargo in India’s import and export trade equaling about 87.53 Million tones in 2002-03.


·        Most of the categories of ships viz. crude tanker, Product Tanker, Bulk Carriers etc. have been brought under the Open General License (OGL) to facilitate acquisition at competitive price;

·        Automatic approval is also available for acquisition by ship-owing companies for the categories which are not covered under O.G.I i.e. Barges, tugs and Boats etc.;

·        Acquisition through Bare Boat Charter-cum-Demise method;

·        Shipping Companies have been allowed to retain sale proceeds of their ships abroad and utilize them for fresh acquisition;

·        The Shipping Companies are now permitted to get their ships repaired in any shipyard without seeking prior approval from the Government;

·        Quarterly Block Allocation scheme for repair of ships has been dispensed with;

·        Reserve Bank of India releases foreign exchange for ship repair/dry docking and spares for imported capital goods, without any value limit;

·        Freedom to Time Charter out ships by Indian shipping Companies;

·        100 percent investment by NRIs in shipping with full repatriation benefits;

·        Automatic approval for foreign direct investment upto 74% in shipping;

·        Facilities at par with 100 percent EOUs for ship repairs industry;

·        Freight charges on account of movement of fertilizers and petroleum products are allowed to be paid in convertible currency;

·        No permission is required for raising foreign exchange loans from abroad by mortgaging the vessels with the lender;

·        Action has since been initiated to formulate a National Shipping Policy to provide fiscal, financial, administrative and legislative measures for growth and development of shipping in India.


        ·        Acquisition of 3.7 Million Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) at an estimated investment of Rs. 15,000 Crores.

·        Acquisition of 0.265 Million GRT for coastal Shipping at an investment of Rs. 1200 Crores.



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