The rapid opening up of India’s shipping sector continues. Fresh from announcing a partial relaxation of the country’s cabotage law, the ministry of shipping is now promulgating new laws whereby Indian owners will be able to charter foreign flagged ships far more easily.
At present, a foreign ship is allowed to be chartered only — among other conditions — if a suitable Indian ship is unavailable for that purpose at reasonable charter rates. This is set to change with shipping secretary Gopal Krishna telling the local Hindu Business Line newspaper: “While we were relaxing cabotage rules, we found restrictive practices in the chartering of foreign vessels. We need to correct this quickly.”
Krishna added: “Once we have ships available at cheaper rates, we will encourage coastal shipping and the overall logistics cost will reduce significantly.”