The Kerala government has identified eight areas for the development of ports in the state and sought urgent aid from the Union government for the ports development. The State Fisheries and Ports Minister K Babu highlighted the issues at the 15th meeting of Maritime State Development Council (MSDC) in Bangalore recently.
The first in the list that deems the Centre’s urgent attention is to relax duties and VAT on bunker oil supplied to coastal shipping projects.
Babu also requested a full service tax exemption to coastal shipping. He urged the Centre to consider vessels used for coastal shipping as infrastructural facility like ports and waterways and thus extend the benefit to coastal ships.
The Minister requested the Union government for the 40 per cent subsidy support for building river sea vessels and coastal vessels and relaxation in cabotage law for non-major ports of Kerala till adequate tonnage and regular coastal services are available there or for three years.