Year End Review -2020: Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways

2020-12-30 15:01:13 DG Shipping / Ministry News

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has released the year end review for 2020 with a comprehensive coverage of all the significant areas with their relevant details.

The release begins saying “In the year 2020, the government has undertaken several important progressive policy interventions and new initiatives to accelerate the overall development of the shipping sector.”

For the present we will begin with Covid 19 ; in fact the release begins with that historic pandemic which has proved a horrific nightmare to all the countries which have effective managed the pandemic despite its severe impact on the economy of all the nations. The nightmare has not ended. The release follows:

COVID Management 

To maintain the supply of essential items and provide effective support in fight against COVID 19 pandemic, certain services were declared as essential including transport service for carriage of goods by water. However, Ports and dependent stakeholders faced immense difficulty in carrying out their operations as a result of the Lockdown.

Government took various efforts and initiatives to mitigate the impact of pandemic and ensure smooth functioning of supply chains. Some of the key initiatives taken are as follows:

Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) and associated bodies issued various advisories/circulars to provide relief to the trade in terms of non-charging of demurrage and other penalties/charges

o    MoPSW decided to grant compensation /Ex-Gratia of 50 lakhs in the event of loss of life due to COVID-19 to the dependent members/legal heirs of the port employees of Major Ports

o    Major Ports ensured storage space for cargo and accommodation and food for migrant laborers working in their premises

o    Major Ports remitted VRC charges for quarantined vessels

o    Ports ensured availability of PPE kits and other necessary medical devices and medicines and sanitization of all work spaces

o    Isolation and other medical facilities created at Major Ports

o    Various technological/digital induction were expedited during COVID-19 pandemic to maintain smooth functioning without human interference, such as:

1.     E-office for internal use; E-invoice, E-payment, E-DO and E-BoL at PCS1x

2.     Utility for Sign-on & sign-off (E-pass module)

3.     Utility for data verification of seafarers from chartered flights

4.     Maritime Training: E-learning, virtual classes, online exit exams

5.     Online ship Registrations & online charter licensing.

MoPSW has facilitated more than 1,00,000 crew change on Indian ports and through charter flights. It is the highest number of crew changes in the world. Crew change consists of replacing one of the ship’s crew members with another one and involves sign-on the ships and sign-off the ships procedures.

Maritime sector is among the worst hit sectors due to Corona pandemic. Despite that, all the Indian Ports were operational and providing essential services throughout the pandemic and main pillar for the smooth supply chain for India and world were the seafarers.

The Covid-19 part of the release ends. To be continued.

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