India: Shipping Ministry waives inland waterways charges for 3 years

To draw more cargo to waterways, Ministry of Shipping has waived waterway usage charges for three years with immediate effect, said an official statement. The move comes in the backdrop of cargo moved on waterways stagnating in fiscal 2020 against the previous fiscal, according to official data.

Water usage charge was applicable on vessels using the national waterways. It was a hindrance in administration of traffic movement and collection of traffic data.

Waterways charge

Presently, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) levies the waterway usage charges at a rate of ₹0.02 per gross registered tonnage (GRT) per kilometer for inland cargo vessels and ₹0.05 per GRT for cruise vessels, according to a statement.

The decision is estimated to increase the inland waterway traffic movement to 110 million tonnes in 2022-23 from 72 mt in 2019-20, added the statement. The cargo loaded fiscal 2018-19 was a tad over 72 mt, according to official data.

Low usage
Union Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya said that currently only two per cent of total cargo traffic moves through waterways. Decision of waiving waterway charges will attract the industries to use the national waterways for their logistical needs.

As the mode of transport is eco-friendly and cheaper, it will not only reduce the burden on other transport modes but also promote the ease of doing business the Minister added.
Source: The Hindu Business Line

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