Major ports and highways to contribute 2% of GDP: Gadkari

Major ports and highways to contribute 2% of GDP: Gadkari

Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari today said efforts are on to develop all 12 major ports so that they, along with the highways sector, contribute 2 per cent of India's GDP.

Addressing media after an MoU for export of cars was signed between Kamarajar Port and Toyota, Gadkari said the company is exploring more countries, apart from South Africa, for exporting its vehicles.

"Exports from Kamarajar Port (earlier known as Ennore) will touch 26,000 units this fiscal. Toyota Kirloskar has entered into a pact with the Port for long-term shipments of cars from there," the Minister said.

He added that a slew of steps are on to develop not only all 12 major ports but also the minor ports that come under the control of state governments.

Gadkari said efforts are on to convert all ports into green ports and as a first step, use of bio-diesel has been initiated at Haldia Dock, Kolkata Port.

Also, a world-class training centre has been set up at JNPT in collaboration with Antwerp Port, he added.

"These will ensure that our ports along with the highways contribute at least 2 per cent of the GDP in the next two years," he said.

Toyota was earlier exporting cars from Chennai Port but due to congestion there, entered into pact with Kamarajar Port.

"Earlier, we were doing exports from Chennai but there was much congestion. Here, the rate at Kamarajar is less. For our economics, it is good. If the speed breakers are done away within India, our GDP will grow by 2 per cent," said Shekar Viswanathan, Vice Chairman and Whole-time Director, Toyota.

He said transport of vehicles through water costs only 30 paise per km as compared to Re one by Railways and Rs 1.5 by roads.

"We want to increase exports. We have got surplus capacity. If we get an order tomorrow we will export. Essentially at this point of time we are exporting Etios to South Africa but we are looking at exporting other models than Etios too like Innova, Fortuner and Corolla," he added.

Kamarajar Port has similar long-term agreements with Nissan India and Ford India.Meanwhile, Gadkari also launched the website "Shipping Samvad" here today.

The objective of the website is to invite innovative ideas and suggestions from general public and experts related to Indian maritime sector for improvements in shipping, ports and inland waterways sector.

"The ideas and suggestions submitted through this portal will be further examined for implementation by Ministry of Shipping and the workable ideas and suggestions will be published on this website.

"The Ministry of Shipping will also select the best five contributions in the year," he said.
The Ministry will also upload the draft policies/new initiatives from time to time on the portal for suggestions from citizens, he said, adding that this will help the Ministry in bringing transparency and blue revolution in the country.

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