Samsara Newsletter

Week 13, 2021 (Mar 27 – Apr 3)

Policy & Economy News

Trade policy extended by six months to September 30

World Bank Raises India's growth projection to 10% in FY22

Business News - The India Boom Factor

India's exports jump 58% to hit all-time high of $34 billion in March

India, South Korea agree on joint production, export of military hardware

PLI for food processing sector to boost domestic mfg, exports: TPCI

Sugar industry upbeat on exports

Shipping News

Mandaviya launches cruise service at Essar Ports" Hazira ferry terminal

New Asia-East Africa service to be launched this month

Adani Ports emerges as sole bidder for Varanasi multi-modal river terminal

Logistics News

3rd-party logistics shipments grew 70 pc in India in Q4 2020

CONCOR flags off full export rake from Nagpur to Nhava Sheva

First freight train runs on New Palanpur-Madar section of WDFC; Raj, Haryana industries to benefit

Agreement signed for Palwal to Sonipat Orbital Rail Corridor

Indian Port News

DBGT achieved the 2 million TEUs milestone in March 2021

JNPT opens new inter-terminal route to streamline traffic movement

Policy & Economy News

Trade policy extended by six months to September 30
India Seatrade News - April 1, 2021 Top
The government on Wednesday further extended the validity of the current foreign trade policy (FTP), which provides a road map for boosting external commerce in goods and services, by six months through September 30.

The latest move will enable exporters to continue to get incentives under a clutch of extant program - including the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (which replaced the flagship Merchandise Exports From India Scheme, or MEIS, from January 1), interest equalisation scheme and transport subsidy scheme (for farm exports) - without any hiccups.

The validity of the FTP for 2015-20 was already extended by a year through March 31, 2021 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, mainly to maintain policy stability and soften the blow to exporters.

Exemption from the payment of IGST and compensation cess on the imports made under the advance/EPCG authorisations and by the export-oriented units has also been extended by six months through September 30. Similarly, the validity of "status holder" certificates for exporters will also be extended up to end-September. Such a certificate suggests an entity is recognised by the government as export house/trading house or star trading House. A statement by the commerce ministry suggested that the extension is aimed at providing "continuity in the policy regime" in view of the unprecedented situation arising out of the pandemic.

The government has budgeted Rs 13,000 crore (Rs.130 billion) for the RoDTEP scheme for FY22. But the actual outgo will likely far exceed the budgetary allocation, exporters have said. Similarly, under the interest equalisation scheme, the government has budgeted `1,900 crore (19 billion) for FY22, against Rs 1,600 crore (Rs.16 billion) (RE) for FY21. This scheme usually allows manufacturing and merchant exporters an interest subsidy of 3% on pre-and-post-shipment rupee credit for exports of 416 products (tariff lines).

The incentives are crucial to keep exports from sliding further in the aftermath of the pandemic, as supply chains have been hit and demand from key markets, too, has faltered. Goods exports in February grew by 0.7% on-year, although the contraction in the first 11 months of this fiscal was still to the tune of 12%.

FE had first reported on March 21 that the announcement of a new FTP could be delayed, thanks to not just Covid-induced disruptions but also a policy dilemma over the continuation of certain key export programs that have been challenged successfully by the US at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Washington had claimed that these schemes were inconsistent with global trade rules and that "thousands of Indian companies are receiving benefits totaling over $7 billion annually from these programs".

India had appealed against the ruling of the WTO's dispute body in response to the US plea in November 2019. But with the WTO's appellate body remaining dysfunctional for over a year now, ironically due to the US' blocking of the appointment of judges, the fate of India's appeal remains uncertain.

The programs that have been challenged include the MEIS and those relating to special economic zones, export-oriented units, electronics hardware technology parks, capital goods and duty-free imports for re-exports.

While India has already replaced the MEIS, the biggest scheme, with a WTO-compliant tax refund program from January 1, others still continue. New Delhi believes that it has a strong case and the verdict of the appellate body, when it comes, should go in its favour. Unless a decision is made by the appellate tribunal on the appeal, the findings of the WTO's dispute panel can't be binding on India.

The pandemic has also forced the government to undertake a comprehensive review of its FTP architecture for the next five years, given the country now needs fresh policy responses to counter the massive damage caused by the pandemic.

World Bank Raises India's growth projection to 10% in FY22
Mint - April 1 Top
  • The World Bank forecast highlights uncertainty about the second wave of covid-19
  • The World Bank upgraded its GDP forecast for India from 5.4% estimated in October last year
vaccinated, the amount that epidemiologists suggest would be sufficient to break the chain of transmission to reach herd immunity," it said.

As economic activity normalizes, the current account is expected to return to mild deficits of around 1% in FY22 and FY23 and capital inflows are projected by continued accommodative monetary policy and abundant international liquidity conditions, the World Bank said. "The covid-19 shock will lead to a long-lasting inflexion in India's fiscal trajectory. The general government deficit is expected to remain above 10% of GDP until FY22. As a result, public debt is projected to peak at almost 90% of GDP in FY21 before declining gradually thereafter," the lender said.

Business News - The India Boom Factor

India's exports jump 58% to hit all-time high of $34 billion in March
India Seatrade News - April 2 Top
India's merchandise exports witnessed a huge jump of 58 per cent year-on-year (YoY) and touched a record $34 billion in March, indicating a recovery in demand, preliminary data released by the government showed. Sequentially, the growth in merchandise exports was 21 per cent.

However, for the whole of financial year 2020-21 (FY21) exports contracted 7.4 per cent YoY to $290.18 billion because of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Make in India, Make for the World: Merchandise exports in March 2021 grew by 58 per cent YoY to $34 billion, the highest ever in Indian history. PM Narendra Modiji's trade policies have propelled Indian economy to historic new heights, even amidst the pandemic," Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted.

Imports grew 52.89 per cent YoY in March to $48.12 billion, compared with $31.47 billion a year ago. For the whole of FY21, it contracted 18.07 per cent to $388.92 billion.

"India is, thus, a net importer in March, with a trade deficit of $14.11 billion, as compared to a trade deficit of $9.98 billion, an increase of 41.4 per cent," said an official statement.

Ajai Sahai, director-general (DG) and chief executive officer (CEO), Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), said the turnaround in exports was remarkable, despite challenges because of a shortage of containers and hike in freight.

"Exports are generally much higher during March, which is generally the peak season. Unfortunately, last year (in March) exports fell due to the lockdown. The growth (this year) is impressive despite the logistics-related challenges. We can look forward to taking our exports to $340-350 billion in the next financial year. We should aim for double-digit growth next year," Sahai told.

He also cautioned that such a high level of exports may not be sustainable every month. "But even if we have $30 billion of exports every month, we can reach $350 billion easily," he said.

The top five commodity exports in March were other cereals (323.65 per cent growth), oil meals (228.4 per cent), iron ore (194.98 per cent), jute manufacturing including floor covering (105.19 per cent), and carpets (89.86 per cent), data showed.

As far as inward shipments were concerned, there was a decline in items such as silver (contracted 90.22 per cent), newsprint (down 50.66 per cent), transport equipment (32.73 per cent), project goods (32.56 per cent), and pulses (13.88 per cent) in March.

"Value of non-petroleum and non-gems and jewelry exports in March 2021 was $27.25 billion, compared with $16.95 billion in March 2020, a growth of 60.72 per cent. Non-oil, non-gems and jewelry (gold, silver & precious metals) imports were $27.01 billion in March, compared with $18.70 billion a year ago, also a growth of 44.45 per cent," the commerce ministry said.

India, South Korea agree on joint production, export of military hardware
Press Information Bureau: March 30, 2021 Top
As part of an overall expansion of defence and security relations, India and South Korea have planned to go for joint development and export of military hardware, strengthen intelligence sharing, and enhance partnerships in the cyber and space domains, according to official sources.

The decisions were concluded in the delegation-level meetings between Defence Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh and his South Korean counterpart Mr. Suh Wook on Friday, with both sides agreed to make a big push to strengthen relations in strategically important areas, according to the officials. From Thursday to Friday, the South Korean minister was in India for a three-day visit aimed at strengthening bilateral defense and military cooperation.

According to reports, the two sides have agreed to concentrate on joint research, joint production, and joint export in the field of defense industrial cooperation.

India has received a lot of arms and military equipment from South Korea. The two countries agreed on a framework for joint development of different land and naval systems in 2019.

The South Korean minister also showed an interest in taking advantage of the opportunities in India's two defense corridors, especially through joint ventures under the 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' (self-reliant India) initiative.

The government is attempting to develop two defense industrial corridors in the country, one in Uttar Pradesh and the other in Tamil Nadu, with the aim of ensuring connectivity between various defense industries.

The two sides have planned to make a stronger emphasis on cyber and space cooperation, as well as continue to streamline the intelligence sharing process.

The two ministers discussed the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on defense and security engagements, as well as the armed forces' practice guidelines for coping with the pandemic.

The Korean minister also mentioned how India's Act East Policy and his country's Southern Policy are complementary.

Given India's experience with UN peacekeeping missions, the Indian side assured the South Korean delegation that it would participate appropriately in the upcoming UN Peacekeeping Ministerial Meeting in December 2021.

The South Korean minister also visited to Agra, where he was shown India's special forces capabilities. He also spoke with top executives from defense public-sector firms and leaders from the FICCI industry chamber.

PLI for food processing sector to boost domestic mfg, exports: TPCI
India Seatrade News - April 2, 2021 Top
The production linked incentive scheme for the food processing sector will boost domestic manufacturing and exports in the sector and lead the country to be a credible player in the global value chain soon, trade body TPCI said on Thursday. Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) founder Chairman Mohit Singla said that the scheme will go a long way and prove to be a milestone in Indian brands reaching global shelves quickly.

"It will boost the manufacturing activity and boost exports in the Food and Beverage sector and lead the country to be a credible player in the global value chain soon," he said in a statement. He added that the Rs 10,900 crore (RS.109 billion) PLI scheme will be a game changer for India as it will incite a large number of young entrepreneurs and experts to join the food processing domain, giving India an edge. "India will surely replicate the China and Taiwan model in the sector and emerge as a global leader. Additionally, this scheme will also create huge employment opportunities for nearly 3 lakh people in the next six years," Singla said.

The value added exports will get a leg up with expansion of processing capacity in the country and branding abroad to incentivise emergence of strong Indian brands. He said that the SMEs in the food processing sector will get a major push by enhancing the manufacturing capabilities and enhanced exports. India's share of organic products in the world is less than 1 per cent, while the exports is only USD 700 million currently, according to TPCI. The government on March 31 approved a production-linked incentive scheme for the food processing sector, entailing an outlay of Rs 10,900 crore (Rs.109 billion).

Sugar industry upbeat on exports
Exim News Service: Mumbai, March 31 Top
The Indian sugar industry is upbeat on exports despite a drop in global prices of the commodity, mainly because of the two key decisions taken in mid-February. One, the Centre allowed swapping of sugar releases for the domestic market with the export market. As a result, Maharashtra sugar mills gave their domestic market release quota to Uttar Pradesh mills.

In turn, the Uttar Pradesh mills gave their export market release quota to their western counterparts. It facilitated at least 0.7 million tonnes (mt) of more sugar for export and also helped Indian sugar millers to cash in on the higher prices in the global market. The second policy of the Centre that helped the sugar industry was permitting raw and white sugar exports to refineries' special economic zones (SEZs).

ISMA said the decision allowing supply to SEZs and considering them as export was also covered by the scheme to assist sugar mills. As a result, exports are expected to top 5.5-6 mt against initial estimates of 5 mt, said a report.

Shipping News

Mandaviya launches cruise service at Essar Ports" Hazira ferry terminal
India Seatrade News - April 1, 2021 Top
Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday e-launched Hazira to Diu cruise service at a ferry terminal in Hazira developed by Essar Ports.

Essar Bulk Terminal Ltd (EBTL), part of ports business of Essar, said the new cruise route will revolutionise coastal transportation across the western coast of India and give a boost to coastal tourism for the people of Gujarat.

"Following the WHO guidelines for COVID-19 precautions, Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ports, Shipping and Waterways…flagged off the Ferry service at passenger terminal in Hazira through virtual presence," Essar Ports said in a statement.

Mandaviya said the development of cruise tourism has been the prime focus of the Modi government.

In 2014, there were around 1.07 lakh cruise passengers in India per annum which rose to 4.63 lakh per annum in 2019-20. The cruise calls to Indian ports was 139 and 445 for these periods, respectively, he said.

"Under the Maritime Vision 2030, we are aiming for more than 350 cruise ships, 3,000 plus cruise calls per annum, more than 3 cruise training academies and 5 million cruise passengers by 2030. We are taking all-round steps to create perfect ecosystem for cruise industry.

"The passenger ferry service has seen a giant leap with the development of Hazira as a cruise tourism hub. This will also open up many opportunities for the tourism sector of Gujarat as well," the minister said.

Essar Capital Director Prashant Ruia said the project is aligned to the Maritime India Vision 2030 of Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and paves way for accelerated growth of India"s maritime sector.

JAI SOFIA "Mumbai Maiden", a state-of-the-art cruise cum passenger ferry vessel with a capacity of 300 passengers will now sail in the inaugural route from Hazira to Diu.

The vessel has all the facilities on board and provides a bouquet of services on board, the statement said adding, the ferry services are being operated by SSR Marine Services Pvt Ltd.

Rajiv Agarwal, Managing Director - Essar Ports said, "This is a big milestone for us. The Ferry Terminal was commissioned in record time and the ferry services through it are a significant addition to air, road, and rail-based connectivity along Indian coastline".

EBTL said the facility includes both marine structures, like landing platform, passenger walkway and floating pontoon, as well as shore-based facilities, like a terminal building, cafeteria and vehicle parking area.

The project was completed in record time using Essar's in-house expertise and resources, it said.

Essar Ports specializes in development and operations of ports and terminals for handling liquid, dry bulk, break bulk and general cargo. It has four operational terminals in India across Hazira and Salaya (Gujarat) on the west coast, and one each in Visakhapatnam and Paradip on the east coast.

New Asia-East Africa service to be launched this month
Exim News Service: Hamburg, March 31 Top
Hapag-Lloyd has said it is enhancing its Asia-East Africa connections with a new service, East Africa Service 3 (EAS3), which will offer direct weekly sailings between China, South-East Asia, Kenya and Tanzania with very competitive transit times. It will be launched in late April, enabling its customers to enjoy even better connectivity between Asia and East Africa, emphasised a release.

In addition, the EAS3 will offer excellent connections to Hapag-Lloyd's global network via the hub ports of Singapore, Port Klang and Shanghai. Seven 2,800-TEU vessels will be deployed in the service, including two provided by Hapag-Lloyd.

The port rotation will be as follows: Shanghai / Ningbo / Nansha / Singapore / Port Klang / Mombasa / Dar Es Salaam / Port Klang / Singapore / Shanghai

The first westbound voyage of the EAS3 will start in Shanghai on April 29, 2021 with an estimated arrival in Mombasa on May 23, 2021. Further vessel and schedule details will be announced as soon as possible, the release added.

Adani Ports emerges as sole bidder for Varanasi multi-modal river terminal
India Seatrade News - April 3, 2021 Top
Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) is the sole entity to place a price bid on a tender floated by waterways authority to privatise the multi-modal river terminal at Varanasi. This has avoided a potential embarrassment for the government on a much-publicised project built with World Bank funding which falls under the prime minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary constituency.

APSEZ is also one of the four bidders to file qualification documents for privatising the multi-modal terminal at Haldia. The other bidders are Hindustan Infralog Pvt Ltd, Orissa Stevedores Ltd and IRC Natural Resource Pvt Ltd.

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has received one initial bid for the privatisation of the multi-modal terminal at Sahibganj in Jharkhand when the tender closed on March 30, sources in the ministry of ports, shipping and waterways said.

The three multi-modal terminals were built by the waterways development agency as part of the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JVMP), the 1,390 km long Varanasi to Haldia stretch along river Ganga with a $375 million loan from the World Bank.

For the last two years, the IWAI has been seeking bidders' interest for running the three terminals and had even changed the tender terms. Operating models as bidders stayed away due to concerns over ship availability, scheduled and reliable services, availability of cargo as well as higher GST on cargo movement through waterways compared to road, sources said.

Privatisation on EOT model

The multi-modal terminals at Varanasi and Haldia are being privatised on the Equip, Operate and Transfer (EOT) model since there is no scope for expanding these terminals requiring substantial capital investments from the private entity.

Whereas IWAI had sought bids for the Sahibganj terminal in November last year on a, operate, manage and develop (OMD) model for a concession period of 30 years.

The successful bidder will be responsible for the OMD of the multi-modal terminal built by IWAI with an investment of ?280 crore (Rs.2.8 billion). IWAI plans to invest another ?148 crore (Rs.1.4 billion) in rail connectivity to the terminal.

The private operator will be mandated to expand the terminal capacity from 3.03 million tonnes (mt) a year to 9.5 mt with an investment of ?376 crore (Rs.3.7 billion).

It will also undertake operation and management (O&M) of the proposed Ro-Ro terminal at Sahibganj.

The global tenders for Varanasi and Haldia terminals on the EOT model were issued in May last year but have been extended several times due to lack of bidder interest.

IWAI built the Varanasi terminal with an investment of ?200 crore (RS.2 billion), and the agency plans to invest a further ?85 crore (Rs.850 million) on rail connectivity.

The private operator will be tasked with operating, managing and maintaining the terminal infrastructure and the proposed passenger pontoon jetty and equipping terminal infrastructure for augmenting capacity to 1.26 mt with an investment of ?22.5 crore (Rs.225 million).

The Varanasi contract will have a tenure of 10 years which can be extended by two years.

IWAI built the terminal at Haldia with an investment of ?452.2 crore (Rs.4.5 billion), with another ?19 crore (Rs.190 million) being spent on rail connectivity.

The private operator will be mandated to operate, manage and maintain the terminal infrastructure and equip the terminal infrastructure for augmenting capacity to 3.07 mt with an investment of ?47.5 crore (Rs.475 million).

The Haldia contract will have a concession period of 10 years which can be extended by five years.

Logistics News

3rd-party logistics shipments grew 70 pc in India in Q4 2020
India Seatrade News - March 31, 2021 Top
As online shopping sees more adoption, the third-party logistics (3PL) shipments grew 70 percent in the month of October-December 2020, contributing 45 percent of the shipment volume for the e-tailing industry.

The 3PL shipped 750 million, which was a growth of 450 million from the period of July-September 2020.

"The 3PL has tremendous headroom to grow in eGrocery and foodtech as it completes merely 10 percent and 5 percent in those respective sectors," according to Bengaluru-based market intelligence firm RedSeer.

While 3PL has grown from 107 million shipments in July-September period in 2020, it has only grown by two million in the eGrocery space during the same period, which shows that it has a long way ahead.

Online retail in India has grown more than 3 times in the last four years and is only set to be bigger in the coming years.

"As customers become more aware and comfortable with online shopping, delivery experience will become a key parameter to retain and onboard customers, hence this report unveils some invaluable insights on this competitive market," the report noted.

Platforms such as Xiaomi, Decathlon and Dunzo came out as frontrunners in their respective sectors in terms of high delivery experience satisfaction.

While Captive logistics have taken prominence, third-party logistics (3PL) now also plays a key role.

"However, the role of 3PL players differ from one vertical to another. While it contributes highly for digitally native brands (DNB) and other emerging brands, it is still low in the e-grocery and foodtech space," the findings showed.

Owing to smaller scale, there is a definite need for partnerships with third party logistics platforms for last-mile fulfilment and with emergence of ‘delivery' as a key factor for driving customer satisfaction, "it is imperative for these brands/platforms to provide best of the class delivery experience to drive the overall customer satisfaction".

"Over the last one year, we have seen that while online shopping is seeing more adoption, delivery experience has become a key parameter to drive customer satisfaction," the report said.

CONCOR flags off full export rake from Nagpur to Nhava Sheva
Exim News Service: Nagpur / New Delhi, March 31 Top
Cargo destined for Afghanistan

The Container Corporation of India Ltd (CONCOR) continues to contribute towards further enhancing logistics to boost exports, along with the Indian Railways.

Last week, it moved a full export rake from ICD Nagpur (its Multi Modal Logistics Park at MIHAN) to Nhava Sheva with a load of 90 TEUs comprising transmission towers of KEC International, a RPG Enterprises company. The consignment, for a project in Afghanistan, was flagged off by Dr Balbir Singh, Principal Commissioner, CGST, Nagpur, informed a communiqué.

First freight train runs on New Palanpur-Madar section of WDFC; Raj, Haryana industries to benefit
India Seatrade News - April 1, 2021 Top
The first freight train consisting of 50 wagons of high speed diesel was run on the newly constructed New Palanpur-Madar section of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) on Wednesday.

The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) said this heralds a new chapter for industries in Rajasthan and Haryana which would reap the benefits of faster transport of goods and essentials.

The opening of this stretch will mean better connectivity to the ports of Gujarat, with the Pipavav, Kandla, Mundra and the Hazira ports connecting to north and northeast India faster, the DFCCIL said in a statement.

This section falls between Rajasthan (approximately 333 km in Sirohi, Pali and Ajmer districts) and Gujarat (19 km in BanasKantha district). It has 98 major bridges and viaducts (12 viaducts/important bridges and 86 major bridges), 531 minor bridges, two rail flyovers, 14 road over bridges and 136 road under bridges, the DFCCIL said.

Industries in Swaroopganj, Banas, Keshavganj, Bangurgram, Beawar, Kishangarh, Phulera, Rewari-Manesar and Narnaul are likely to benefit from this, it said.

In addition to this, the container depot of CONCOR at Swaroopganj, Kathwas will also come on the DFC map and get advantage in terms of faster throughput, the statement said.

The DFCCIL will run freight trains at a maximum speed of 100 km/hour as against the current maximum speed of 75 km/hour on Indian Railway tracks, whereas the average speed of freight trains will also be increased from the existing 26 km/hour on Indian Railway lines to 70 km/hour on Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFC), it said.

In the first phase, the DFCCIL is constructing the 1,506 route km of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor and the 1,875 route km of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor.

The Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, starting from Sahnewal near Ludhiana in Punjab, will pass through Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand and terminate at Dankuni in West Bengal.

The Western Corridor connecting Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Mumbai will traverse through Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Agreement signed for Palwal to Sonipat Orbital Rail Corridor
India Seatrade News - April 2, 2021 Top
The Haryana Rail Infrastructure Development Corporation - a joint venture of the Haryana Government and the railways ministry - has entered into an agreement with RITES for construction of the Haryana Orbital Rail Corridor from Palwal to Sonipat for providing railway infrastructure technology and economic services.

On behalf of Haryana Rail Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited Corporation, the agreement was signed by Narinder D Chumber, director (projects and planning), and by Piyush Kansal, executive director, RITES.

Haryana Rail Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited was constituted with an aim to provide eco-friendly and seamless connectivity as a cost-effective and sustainable mode of transport which will enable polycentric growth in Haryana.

On September 15, 2020, the Central Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs constituted under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the 121.742 km long dual electrified broad gauge line of Haryana Orbital Rail Corridor from Palwal to Sonipat at an estimated cost of Rs 5,617.69 crore (Rs.56.1 billion).

"After completion of the Haryana Orbital Rail Corridor, the public economic development in the state will be strengthened and will attract multinational companies to set up manufacturing units which will boost the ‘Make in India' mission. Over 76 lakh employment opportunities will also be created through this project. Apart from this, it will also reduce the passenger load in passenger and goods trains in Delhi. This corridor from Palwal to Sonipat will be dual electrified broad gauge from Sohna, Manesar, and Kharkhoda and will provide seamless connectivity to the Prithala Dedicated Freight Corridor from Palwal, Patli, Sultanpur, Asaudha, and Harsana Kalan stations of Indian Railways. The project is being funded by Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and shall be completed in five years," a government spokesperson said, Thursday.

Centre allocates Rs 549.51 crore (Rs.5.4 billion) for 120 number roads in Haryana.

To further strengthen the road network in Haryana and ease traffic congestion, Haryana government is spending Rs 383.58 crore (Rs. 3.8 billion) on upgradation of 83 roads with a cumulative length of 688.94 km under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)-III in the State. Out of 688 km, 200 km has been completed and the remaining will be completed by the end of the financial year 2021-22.

"For Haryana, an indicative allocation of 2500 km has been made by the Ministry of Rural Development for five year period, up-to 2019-2024. Acknowledging Haryana's progress, Rs 549.51 crore (Rs.5.4 billion) sanctioned for 120 number roads. On March 5, 2021, the union ministry has sanctioned 120 number roads with a length of 1,216.95 km amounting to Rs 549.51 crore (Centre share: Rs 328.43 crore ie Rs.3.2 billion , state share: Rs 221.08 crore ie Rs.2.2 billion) under Batch-II. Tender for all the works in Batch II has been floated and works will be allotted by May 15, 2021.

For remaining 600 km, proposals scrutiny is under process and it is expected that approval for these proposals from the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India will be received by June 30, 2021," the spokesperson added.

"A new technology of using plastic waste will be used for upgrading (repair, widening, strengthening) of these roads, due to which the quality of the roads will increase and the public can avail the facilities of these roads for a longer period," the spokesperson said.

Indian Port News

Paradip port handles record 114.55 mmt of cargo in FY21; PBT up by 6 per cent
India Seatrade News - April 3 Top
Overcoming the COVID-19 challenges and problems arising out of cyclone Amphan, the Paradip port in Odisha has achieved a record of 114.55 million metric tonne of cargo handling in the 2020-21 fiscal, an official said on Friday.

Its profit before tax (PBT) stood at Rs 722 crore (Rs.7.2 billion) in FY21, up by 6.02 per cent from Rs 681 crore (Rs.6.8 billion) in the previous year, he said.

The facility on the east coast registered a 1.65 per cent growth in cargo handling in FY21, Paradip Port Trust chairman Vinit Kumar told reporters.

The port had handled 112.68 mmt of cargo in the 2019- 20 financial year.

The achievement in the 2020-21 fiscal was noteworthy as two of its berths were not available due to mechanisation work, he said, adding that the port handled over 100 mmt of cargo for the fourth consecutive year.

Speaking on the operational parameters, Kumar said the Paradip port's berth occupancy has marginally improved to 74 per cent, while the average pre-berthing detention time fell to around six hours from over 15 hours in the last year.

Projects worth over Rs 2,000 crore (Rs.20 billion) are under implementation to modernise its existing infrastructure, he said.

According to the official, the Centre has approved a Rs 3,005 crore (Rs.30 billion) project for the development of the western dock with a capacity of 25 metric million tonne per annum.

"This will transform the port with facilities to handle large vessels," he added.

JNPT opens new inter-terminal route to streamline traffic movement
India Seatrade News - March 28, 2021 Top
JNPT on Saturday announced the opening of a new inter-terminal route, connecting BMC Terminal with the other four other terminals at the Port to further streamline the traffic movement.

The new route, inaugurated by JNPT chairman Sanjay Sethi in the presence of other port and Customs officials, among others, will reduce the container movement distance between BMCT and the other four terminals by half, from the existing 5 kms to 2.5 kms in one direction, JNPT said in a statement.

The new route is expected to increase the rail share and volume of transhipment containers in the Port, it said.

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) operates five container terminals that handle over 50 per cent of the total container cargo among the major domestic ports.

These are Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal (JNPCT), the Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal (NSICT), the Gateway Terminals India Pvt Ltd (GTIPL), Nhava Sheva International Gateway Terminal (NSIGT) and the newly-commissioned Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals Private Limited (BMCTPL).

The Port also has a shallow water berth for general cargo and another liquid cargo terminal which is managed by BPCL-IOCL consortium.

The new route will be used exclusively for the movement of TP (Transhipment) & ITRHO (Inter Terminal Rail Handling Operation) containers between BMCT and other terminals of JN Port offering a smooth and continuous flow of ITRHO and TP containers, the port operator said.

“The inauguration of an internal-terminal route will help in the overall trade cycle and further enhance our efficiency. It will further streamline the movement of rail containers between BMCT with all the other four container terminals at the port,” said Sethi.

JNPT has also taken various other initiatives under ”Ease of Doing Business” that have helped save a significant amount of time and cost for the importers-exporters community, he said.

The ITRHO aims to maximise train placement, track productivity, efficiency, cost effective handling, reduce dwell time of import ICD boxes as well as connecting export ICD boxes to respective terminals in time and also increase rail quotient at JNPT, the statement said.

Trade will be benefitted, as the new route would ensure timely connection of export containers arriving by trains in mixed condition to the particular vessel in any of the terminals and also enhance the train handling time at JN Port, the port operator stated.