National Maritime Day 2022: All About Maritime India Vision 2030 And Laws Governing The Sector

National Maritime Day 2022: All About Maritime India Vision 2030 And Laws Governing The Sector

National Maritime Day 2022: India celebrates National Maritime Day every year on April 5. The convention of celebrating the day on April 5 is to recognise the sail of the first Indian commercial vessel of colonial India from Mumbai to London in the year 1919. The commercial vessel was named SS Loyalty, which was owned by Scindia Steam Navigation Company Ltd.

Scindia Steam Navigation Company was the first Indian company that owned a vessel of such large scale.

India has a coastline that is 7,500 km long, on which the country has 12 major and over 200 non-major ports. The contribution of maritime sector in the overall trade of India accounts for 95 per cent of the country’s trade volume and 65 per cent of the trade by value. 

In his message on the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “In the last 8 years our maritime sector has scaled new heights and contributed to boosting trade and commercial activities.”

On the occasion of the 103rd National Maritime Day, here are a few facts that highlight the significance of maritime sector for India.

The Indian Maritime Sector

Law has to play a very crucial role in the augmentation and realisation of true potential of the Indian maritime sector. India is augmenting its marine capacity by leaps and bounds, and in order to realise her true potential, the government has floated Maritime India Vision (MIV) 2030 by developing infrastructure and facilities.

Here are some of the glowing achievements of Indian maritime sector. 

Indian ports: Two of the Indian ports have the distinction of featuring in the list of the top 40 global container ports. The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) has been ranked at 33rd spot and Mundra Port ranks as the 37 best international shipping port out of the best 40 international shipping ports for containers. Of the total cargo handed at Indian ports, over 54 per cent is handled at the country’s 12 major ports. 

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Inland water transport: India has also improved the cargo handled by inland water transport. Earlier, inland water transport accounted for .5 per cent of cargo traffic in India. The inland water transport has scaled up its contribution in handling of cargo from to 2 per cent. 

Shipping: India’s achievement in the shipping sector has also been extremely impressive. Presently, the country ranks second in ship recycling and 21st in ship building. India also finds herself within the first five countries supplying trained manpower. 

10 Themes Of Maritime India Vision 2030

  • Develop best-in-class port infrastructure
  • Drive E2E logistics efficiency and cost competitiveness 
  • Enhance logistics efficiency through technology and innovation
  • Strengthen policy and institutional framework to support all stakeholders
  • Enhance global share in ship building, repair and recycling
  • Enhance cargo and passenger movement through inland waterways
  • Promote ocean, coastal, and river cruise sector
  • Enhance India’s global stature and maritime cooperation
  • Lead the world in safe, sustainable & green maritime sector
  • Become top seafaring nation with world class education, eesearch and training 

Laws Governing The Maritime Sector

Law has to play its fare share in achieving the target set by MIV 2030. The government is seized of the importance of maritime law and its role in aggrandising the Indian maritime trade and its role in the international community. Following are the key legal developments that have taken place through maritime law. 

Arbitration in maritime law: MIV 2030 recommends setting up of an Indian Maritime Arbitration Association and define arbitration procedures in compliance with recommendations in the amended Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 2015 to make arbitration process user friendly, cost effective and time efficient for all parties. 

Admiralty jurisdiction law: Parliament has enacted the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Act, 2017. Prior to the enactment of the present Act, the law of admiralty jurisdiction were governed through colonial laws namely, Admiralty Court Act, 1861 and Colonial Courts of Admiralty (India) Act, 1891 along with Merchant Shipping Act, 1955. Admiralty jurisdiction resolved this problem by determining which courts in India would be considered as admiralty court. Only seven high courts in India have been recognised to have admiralty jurisdiction and accordingly exercise it. These are the high courts of Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Karnataka, Gujarat, Orissa, and Hyderabad.

Public law: This aspect of Maritime law has also seen many developments in India. The Enrica Lexie case (Italy v India), which saw itself being argued before the Supreme Court of India, went to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (Case No. 2015-28). India was allowed reparation by the PCA from Italy as the latter was found to have violated Article 87 and Article 90 of the UN Convention on Law of Sea.

The author is a PhD fellow at Hamburg University. He has written two books on financial laws.

[Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs, and views expressed by the various authors and forum participants on this website are personal and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs, and views of ABP News Network Pvt Ltd.]

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