No port, ship-related costs on coastal navigation for 6 months: government
To provide relief to inland waterway transport from high fuel prices, the Navy Department has ordered all major ports to exempt cabotage operations from port and vessel dues for the next six months with immediate effect , an official statement said on Sunday.
Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW), Sarbananda Sonowal has also called on state governments to reduce VAT on diesel used by the shipping sector, the statement said.
“In order to provide quick respite to this sector from the impact of global fuel price increases, the MoPSW has ordered all major ports to waive all berth rental charges and ship-related charges currently being levied on the Ro-Pax (roll-on/passenger roll-off) for the next six months with immediate effect,” the statement read.
The cost of ‘Low Sulfur High Flash High-Speed Diesel’ (LSHFHSD) marine fuel has increased from Rs 76,000 per kiloliter to Rs 1,21,000 per kiloliter. Similarly, the cost of “Very Low Sulfur Fuel Oil” (VLSFO) has increased from Rs 40,608/KL to Rs 80,917/KL.
The statement noted here that at the start of the 2021-22 fiscal year, the cost of marine fuel – LSHFHSD was 10-15% lower than that of retail diesel-HSD (high-speed diesel).
Therefore, the rise is effectively more than 40%, he added.
According to the statement, MoPSW has also requested MoPNG and MoF to reduce ferry fuel tariffs and taxes.
In this regard, he had also written letters to Union Finance and Trade Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, highlighting this issue and asking them to extend their support to this sector by reducing taxes and the price of fuel respectively,” he said.
The statement noted that marine fuel prices, including taxes, have a cascading effect on the entire value chain of the surface waterway mass transport system and ecosystem, including ferry operators. cannot pass the burden on to the general public who have the ability to use other government services. subsidized public transport system, rail or road.
These operational hurdles will eventually act as a stumbling block in establishing this nascent surface water transport ecosystem in the country, he said.
The MoPSW promotes Ro-Ro/Ro-Pax/Ferry waterway transport which emits less emissions than other modes of transport for the same amount of freight.
In addition, there is a significant saving of time and money compared to traditional modes of transport, the statement said, adding that simultaneously traffic congestion on roads and railways, noise pollution and accidents on the roads could also be reduced.
Such water transport service is an effective measure to reduce logistics costs, shorten travel time and promote cabotage on multiple practicable routes, he said.
Ro-Pax services implemented by Deendayal Port Authority between Ghogha and Hazira under the Sagarmala scheme have reduced travel time by 12 hours. at 4 o’clock.
According to the release, this Ro-Pax ferry service has transported over 78,000 vehicles and over 2.6 lakh passengers since its inception.
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