India re-elected as member of International Maritime Council for 2 years
In a major boost to its position in the global trade, India has been re-elected unopposed to the 40-member Council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for two years. This re-election gives India an opportunity to engage with the international maritime community and advance India’s maritime interests and promote the welfare of its citizens. “This will result in huge savings for India’s EXIM trade and consumers on account of reduced insurance premium and consequently freight costs. It will improve safety of fishermen and fishing boats, and will also improve the security along India’s coastline,” a Shipping Ministry statement said on Saturday. There are a few reasons why India was re-elected unopposed at the IMO Council. For one, the country has been actively participating with the IMO’s various initiatives, including ensuring the safety of life at sea, protecting marine environment and taking appropriate measures to counter sea-borne piracy. Second, India had joined the IMO in 1959, and since then it has been playing a crucial role in deciding important matters of international maritime strategies and operations, including its work programme strategy and budget, except for two years in 1983 and1984. India has taken myriad steps to upgrade the global safety standards applicable to both cargo and passenger ships, in addition to adding a fleet of ships for its coastal voyages. Currently, India has about 1,210 ships under its flag for both coastal voyages and international voyages. India is among the top twenty ship-owning countries of the world in terms of gross tonnage as well as deadweight. Its overseas seaborne EXIM trade, which is currently about 600 million tonnes per annum, is expected to be quadrupled to about 2,200 million tonnes by 2020. India’s shipping capacity has been growing consistently over the last few years. Its present capacity stands at about 10.38 million gross tonnages. A senior level Indian delegation, led by Rajive Kumar, Secretary of Shipping attended the 29th session of the IMO meeting being held in London from November 23 to December 2.
November 28, 2015 | 05:10pm IST