Shipping ministry issues draft Coastal Shipping Bill for public consultation

Ministry of Shipping has issued the draft of Coastal Shipping Bill, 2020 for suggestions from the stakeholders and general public, in accordance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for augmenting people’s participation and transparency in governance. 

As the shipping sector grows and evolves in the country, a need was felt to have a separate legislation on coastal shipping, which is now an integral part of the transport chain and also recognising the policy priorities of the sector to meet the demands of the Indian shipping industry. 
The bill has be4en drafted incorporating global best practices.
The draft Coastal Shipping Bill, 2020 is in lieu of part XIV of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958. The highlights of the bill are:
  • The draft bill seeks to expand the definition of coastal shipping and coastal waters.
  • It proposes 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.
The draft bill is uploaded on the ministry of shipping’s website. Citizens can submit their suggestions and opinions regarding the draft bill to latest by 6 November 2020.