Government has taken the following major steps to support Indian Shipping Industry.
• Indian shipping industry has been provided cargo support through Right of First Refusal.
• Parity in taxation of seafarers employed on Indian flag ships vis-a-vis those on foreign flag ships.
• Exemption of Customs and Excise Duty leviable on bunker fuels used in Indian flag vessels for transportation of mix of EXIM, domestic and empty containers between two or more ports in India.
• Uniform abatement of service tax of 70% for transportation of goods by rail, road and sea vessels.
• Shipping enterprises based in India have been permitted to acquire ships abroad and also flag them in the country of their convenience.
To develop the transportation of passenger services, two main land vessels for Andaman & Nicobar Island of 1200 passenger capacity each have been sanctioned during 2015-16. Besides this, two Inter Island ships for Andaman & Nicobar Islands of 500 passengers capacity have also been sanctioned.
Indian shipping lines transported 65.5 million tonnes EXIM cargo in 2014-15. In addition 105.8 lakhs and 90.6 lakh passengers embarked and disembarked respectively on Indian ports in 2014-15.