Union Minister for Ports, Shipping & Waterways Shri Sarbananda Sonowal has emphasised the important contribution of seafarers during the tough COVID times in making the country self-reliant and keeping global supply chain operations.
Congratulating all stakeholders of the maritime fraternity at the 59th National Maritime Day celebration function he said that in spite of the huge challenges our Indian seafarers courageously continued to keep India’s Flag flying high throughout the world. He said the role played by Indian seafarers in keeping the global supply chain operational can well be gauged from the fact that even during the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic more than 2,10,000 Indian seafarers served on Indian and Foreign ships in 2021.
He said this also ensured that Indian and global trade and commerce activities continued unhindered. Shri Sarbananda Sonowal said with our Indian seafarers working throughout the world in pandemic times, we set an example for the world of our rich ancient Indian ethos and philosophy of Vasudaiva Kutumbakam or the entire world is one family.
Shri Sarbananda Sonowal said Prime Minister has announced that India will achieve net-zero targets by 2070. Accordingly, this year’s National Maritime Day theme of ‘Propelling Indian Maritime Industry to Net Zero’ is apt. He said in the Maritime Industry, India has always championed the cause of environmental protection, whether it is the implementation of the Global Sulphur Cap or IMO greenhouse gas emission regulations on domestic ships or committing to the Conference of Parties to UNFCC to reach Net Zero by 2070.
He said in pursuance of attaining the dream of Prime Minister and as espoused through Maritime India Vision, 2030 he was confident that India would lead the world through the Maritime sector in the years to come.
The Minister further elaborated that the share of Indian seafarers in world shipping has shown an increase of 25% between 2016 and 2019.
He said the Indian cruise industry, is growing rapidly due to multiple government interventions in the last 3 years. Over the next decade, the Indian cruise market has the potential to increase by 8 times driven by rising demand and disposable incomes, he added.
Shri Sarbananda Sonowal also appreciated the tremendous contribution made by the maritime community and informed that the Government is promoting ‘Ease of Doing Business’ to reduce logistic costs and facilitate shipping and is working towards making the Indian maritime sector attain the foremost position in the world.
Today’s event was started by flagging off Walkathon by Minister of State Shri Shantanu Thakur at Safdarjung Tomb in the morning. On this occasion, senior officials of the Ministry, DG Shipping, Port officials and about 600 trainee cadets from Maritime institutes located in the NCR MTI, teaching faculties as well as Merchant navy officers from the NCR region were also present.
National Maritime Day Celebration assumes special significance as it was exactly 103 years back when history was created, on 5th April 1919, SS Loyalty, the first Ship under the Indian Flag, set sail from Mumbai to London.