India to hasten construction of Chabahar port in Iran1 min read . Updated: 26 Jun 2014, 12:05 AM IST
Transport minister Nitin Gadkari says JNPT and Kandla Port Trust are buying an equity stake in building a port in Iran
Mumbai: The government will encourage state-run ports to invest in overseas port projects using their internal accruals, shipping and transport minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday. He said Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and Kandla Port Trust are buying an equity stake in building a port in Iran.
The Narendra Modi government has decided to hasten much-awaited construction of strategically critical Chabahar port in Iran that would give India easier access to Afghanistan and Central Asia via a shorter route.
Gadkari did not disclose the details investments envisaged for the port in Iran. The government is planning a structure similar to the Port of Singapore Authority, which is owned by Singapore government. The Indian ministry has plans to have a large fund and will evaluate more international port projects.
Gadkari said his ministry is in talks with the financial institutions such as IDFC Ltd for working out a mechanism to enable shipping companies and ports to raise dollar loans based on their dollar earnings. “Since ports are earning in dollars, they should be able to raise loans in dollar terms, thereby reducing their interest rates," he said.
Vishwapati Trivedi, secretary, shipping minister has said the government is readying to take a slew of major decisions in the coming weeks for coastal shipping and inland waterways. “We are considering regulatory changes as well as budgetary support to promote coastal shipping and inland waterways," said Trivedi.
The shipping minister said the government is keen on developing inland water transport, as a cost-effective, less-polluting, fuel saving transportation option.