The Shipping Ministry has instructed all major ports to exempt coastal shipping operations from port and vessel tariffs for the next six months with immediate effect to provide a breather to waterway transportation from high fuel prices. Besides that, the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways have also requested the states to minimize the VAT on diesel used by the shipping sector.
As of today, the cost of marine fuel ‘Low Sulphur High Flash High-Speed Diesel’ has increased from Rs. 76,000 per kilolitre to Rs. 1,21,000 per kilolitre. Similarly, the cost of ‘Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil’ has increased from Rs 40,608/KL to Rs 80,917/KL. This shows that the rise is over 40%.
The Ministry of Ports also asked MoPNG ad MoF to decrease the rates and taxes on fuel to ferries and has also requested the Central Government to extend their support for the logistics and shipping sector by reducing taxes and prices of the fuel. The ministry understands that such operational hurdles will affect the budding ecosystem of water transportation in the country.
The statement issued by the MoPSW stated that it prefers the RO-RO/RO-Pax/Ferry waterway transportation due to its lower emissions and significant savings on time and cost compared to the other modes of transport for the same quantity of cargo. It also mentioned that water-based transportation services are an excellent measure to lower logistics costs, minimize travel time and promote coastal shipping on several feasible routes. The Ro-Pax service initiated by Deendayal Port Authority between Ghogda & Hazari under the Sagarmala program has minimized travel time from 12 hr. to 4 hr.