Shipping ministry to sign funding deal for major Indian port projects

Shipping ministry to sign funding deal for major Indian port projects

New Delhi: India’s Shipping ministry is on the point of signing an agreement with India Infrastructure Finance Company (IIFCL) that will secure funds for important projects at the country’s twelve major ports.

The mnistry aims to develop port infrastructure projects worth INR150bn ($2.37bn) through the public-private partnership (PPP) model, employing long-term finance provided by IIFCL.

“It will be an enabling factor for projects,” said a senior government official, requesting anonymity. “Compared to commercial banks, IIFCL will be in a position to provide longer-term loans, even at the same interest rates. Plus, the agreement will give the ministry access to IIFCL’s advisory services for infrastructure projects.”

As on December 31, 2014, the dozen major ports had an aggregate cargo handling capacity of 838.68m tonnes, which was 7% more than in the previous calendar year.

Out of the 276 projects identified under the National Maritime Development Programme (NMDP), 82 have been completed. Another 56 projects are in progress, while 30 have been dropped as they were found unfeasible by the respective port trusts. The remaining projects are now part of the Maritime Agenda 2020.

Apart from the new projects at the existing major ports, the shipping ministry is keen to add five new ports to its list. Two of these have been finalised at Sagar Island, West Bengal, and Durgarajapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

Shirish Nadkarni

Shirish Nadkarni is a management consultant and freelance international journalist, who has been writing on all spheres of Indian business for the past three decades for a number of reputed overseas publications. An avid sportsman, Nadkarni has represented India in international veterans' badminton since 1997, and was the 55+ age group doubles world champion in 2005.

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