India has a maritime heritage that dates back thousands of years and has heavily influenced the evolution of Indian society. However in independent India, the sector has never received the kind of attention it has in the last two years.
This is reflected in a number of policies and initiatives:
- Granting of infrastructure status to the shipbuilding sector which makes it eligible for tax and other financial incentives.
- Allowing 100 % foreign direct investment in the shipbuilding sector, and construction & maintenance of ports and harbors.
- Opening the defense shipbuilding for the private sector and allowing for 49 % foreign direct investment.
- 105 new inland waterways to be developed in addition to the existing 6 operational waterways.
- Coastal shipping to be developed as a backbone for the transportation of raw materials like coal, fertilizers, and minerals such as iron ore.
- Project Sagarmal – Port led development of coastal India in which 32 industrial clusters (steel, cement, manufacturing, refineries, power plants etc.) will be developed around the ports and shipyards.