The state government has asked the Central government to restore subsidy to ship-building, which it said was needed to promote ship-building industry in the country.
The central government used to provide 30% of the project cost as subsidy to ship-building units earlier. However, the subsidy was withdrawn in 2007.
“Ship-building is a labour intensive industry and generates employment opportunities, which needs to be encouraged. Several countries subsidise ship-building, and it should be restored in India to help achieve the proposed target of 5% share in global ship-building manufacturing,” HK Dash, additional chief secretary of ports & transport department, said.
Restoration of subsidy was one of the several points raised by Dash on behalf of the state government during a recent meeting of the Maritime States Development Council.
The government has requested the Centre to expedite the proposal to develop an international size shipyard at Sutrapada near Veraval. It also sought waiver of income tax liabilities on state maritime boards as taxation was leading to draining of funds for development and expansion projects.
State government has also demanded compensation for the expenditure required for clearing the south Gujarat coast of oil lumps from nearby states, where drilling operations take place.
“This is a very serious matter as it can cause damage to flora and fauna on the coastline if not taken care,” Dash said in his address at the meeting. He said that the Centre should provide at least 50% of the cost for disaster mitigation measures.
According to Dash, the cargo handling capacity at non-major ports in the state has gone up from 138 million tonne in 2002-03 to 366 million tonne at the end of 2012-13.
“We are committed to increase the cargo handling capacity to more than 500 million tonne by 2014-15 and to 864 million tonne by 2019-20,” he said.
State also wants central government to bear 50% of the cost of disaster mitigation measures.
Centre earlier provided 30% subsidy to ship-building which was withdrawn in 2007.