A private shipyard body in India have urged the government to offer more support for struggling domestic private yards.
The Shipbuilders Association of India (SAI), made up of 22 private sector shipbuilders, have appealed to the government to clear their pending subsidy dues claiming they are yet to receive a INR900 crore ($128m) subsidy under a 2002-2007 scheme.
According to SAI, private shipyards are under stress due to lack of support by the government resulting in over 1.15m families suffering from job losses. It urged the government to place ship orders with them under the ‘Make in India’ initiative and create a level playing field between the public sector shipyards and private shipyards.
“Finally, banks pulled the rug from under our feet, making it difficult for us to operate,” said V Kumar, president of SAI.
According to Kumar, public sector shipyards have huge order backlog that will take 20-25 years to deliver given present capacity levels and the public sector shipyards appear to be bidding below costs.
“In such a situation, we would rather be nationalised,” Kumar said.