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Cabotage Restrictions Relaxed for Container Transshipment Ports



Cabotage Restrictions Relaxed for Container Transshipment Ports

The Government has relaxed cabotage restrictions for ports which transship at least 50% of the container handled by them. The cabotage relaxation will enable shipping lines to consolidate Indian EXIM and empty containers at transshipment ports in India for onward transportation to destination ports by main shipping lines.


With the cabotage relaxation, foreign vessels can also transport EXIM and empty containers from any port in India to transshipment port and vice versa, in addition to Indian vessels. The spare capacity of the foreign flag ships which could not be utilized earlier due to cabotage restrictions will now be gainfully utilized enabling them to offer competitive container slot rates to exporters and importers leading to competition led efficiency in container transportation and lower logistic costs for the shippers.

The container port seeking cabotage relaxation for transshipment port would have to achieve transshipment of 50% or more of the EXIM and Empty cargo handled in one year. New transshipment ports will have a gestation period of one year and shall have to achieve the stipulated transshipment traffic of 50% of the traffic handled in the second year. If the container port is able to achieve transshipment traffic of 50% of the cargo handled, the cabotage relaxation for such container port will continue.

Inability of the port to transship at least 50% of the containers handled in a year shall result in revocation of the said relaxation. The port whose relaxation is revoked shall not be considered for cabotage relaxation for next three years. The container handling port will also be required to provide monthly container traffic data for monitoring to Directorate General of Shipping and Ministry of Shipping by 5th of the following month.

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11.3% Growth in Foreign Tourist arrivals in February 2016 over the same period in 2015

Bangladesh accounts for highest share of Tourist arrivals followed by USA and UK in February 2016



Rs. 13, 627 crores Foreign Exchange earned through Tourism in February 2016



Ministry of Tourism compiles monthly estimates of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) on the basis of Nationality-wise, Port-wise data received from Bureau of Immigration (BOI) and Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism on the basis of data available from Reserve Bank of India. The following are the important highlights regarding FTAs and FEEs from tourism during the month of February 2016.

Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs):

·      FTAs during the Month of February 2016 were 8.47 lakh as compared to FTAs of 7.61 lakh during the month of February 2015 and 7.56 lakh in February 2014. There has been a growth of 11.3% in February 2016 over February 2015.



·      FTAs during the period January-February 2016 were 16.91 lakh with a growth of 9.0% as compared to the FTAs of 15.52 lakh with a growth of 2.5% in January-February 2015 over January-February 2014.



·      The Percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during February, 2016 among the top 15 source countries was highest from Bangladesh (12.96%) followed by USA (12.94%), UK (12.45%), Canada (4.71%), Sri Lanka (3.86%), Germany (3.51%), France (3.46%), Malaysia (3.34%), China (3.08%), Russian Federation (3.07%),  Australia (2.69%), Japan (2.37%), Thailand (2.28%), Nepal (1.69%)  and Afghanistan (1.65%).               



·      The Percentage share of  Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during February 2016 among the top 15 ports was highest at Delhi Airport (32.33%) followed by Mumbai Airport (17.24%), Chennai Airport (7.33%), Haridaspur Land check post (6.98%), Bangalore Airport (5.66%), Goa Airport (4.52%), Kolkata Airport (4.21%), Hyderabad Airport (2.69%), Cochin Airport (2.65%), Ahmedabad Airport (2.18%), Gede Rail (2.00%), Sonauli Land check post (1.58%), Trivendrum Airport (1.48%), Amritsar Airport (1.44%)  and Tiruchirapalli Airport (1.27%).





Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from Tourism in India in Rupees terms and in US$ terms



·       FEEs during the month of February 2016 were Rs. 13,627 crore as compared to Rs. 11,642 crore in February 2015 and Rs. 11,510 crore in February 2014.



·      The growth rate in FEEs in rupee terms during February 2016 over February 2015 was 17.1% as compared to the growth of 1.1% in February 2015 over February 2014.  



·      FEEs from tourism in rupee terms during January-February 2016 were Rs. 27,296 crore with a growth of 15.0% as compared to the FEE of Rs. 23,742 crore with a growth of 2.5% during January-February 2015 over January-February 2014.



·      FEEs in US$ terms during the month of February 2016 were US$ 1.996 billion as compared to FEEs of US$ 1.877 billion during the month of February 2015 and US$ 1.849 billion in February 2014.



·      The growth rate in FEEs in US$ terms in February 2016 over February 2015 was 6.3% compared to the growth of 1.5% in February 2015 over February 2014.



·      FEE from tourism in US$ terms during January-February 2016 were US$ 4.028 billion with a growth of 5.4% as compared to the US$ 3.822 billion with a growth 2.5% during January-February 2015 over January-February 2014.



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Uma Bharti to release Detailed Project Report on Forestry Interventions for Ganga

Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti will release Detailed Project Report on Forestry Intervention for Ganga on March 22, 2016 in New Delhi.

As a part of Ganga rejuvenation programme, forestry interventions all along the course of river has been envisaged. In the process, the National Mission on Clean Ganga (NMCG) under Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation entrusted one year assignment to the Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun to prepare Detailed Project Report (DPR) on Forestry Interventions for Ganga in April, 2015.

The FRI submitted the draft DPR to the NMCG on February 16, 2016. Subsequently the Water Resources Ministry conveyed its approval and asked FRI to finalize the DPR incorporating the specific comments and suggestions made by the NMCG/Ministry. The final DPR will be released in the presence of Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Shri Prakash Javadekar and Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat.

A day long workshop has also been organised to mark the release of DPR. Senior officials of five participating states (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal) representing the respective Governments and concerned State Forest Department, environmentalists, scientists, representatives of Eco Task Force, ITBP, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and Civil Society Organizations have also been invited to the workshop.

The preparation of DPR envisaged extensive consultations with various stakeholders in the context of river Ganga at the national and state levels and incorporation of science based methodology. This included use of remote sensing and GIS technologies for spatial analysis and modeling of pre-delineated Ganga riverscape covering 83,946 sq.km out of a much larger Ganga River basin within the country. FRI has designed four sets of field data formats to obtain the site based information on proposed forestry plantations in natural, agriculture, and urban landscapes along the river course and other conservation interventions. More than 8,000 data sheets were obtained from five states along the river course. The Institute also developed a software to collate, analyze and report generation on potential plantation and treatment models.

Extensive plantations in natural, agriculture, and urban landscapes besides conservation interventions such as soil and water conservation, riparian wildlife management, wetland management, and supporting activities such as policy and law interventions, concurrent research, monitoring and evaluation, and mass awareness campaigns have been envisioned in the DPR.

Altogether, 40 different plantation and treatment models have been selected for implementation by five states. The project will be implemented over a period of five years by the State Forest Departments of five participating states in Phase-I (2016-2021).

The project envisages active involvement of two battalions of Eco Task Force in the states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh for raising plantations in difficult terrains. The State Forest Departments in five states are also expected to involve ITBP, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and Civil Society Organizations for various proposed activities including monitoring and awareness campaigns.

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