As marine fuel prices rise, Center exempts passenger ferries from paying port and vessel dues for 6 months
The ministry supports Ro-Ro/Ro-Pax/ferry waterway transport which emits less emissions than other modes of transport. In addition, there are significant savings in time and money compared to traditional modes of transport.
“At the same time, road/rail traffic congestion, noise pollution and road accidents can also be reduced. Such water transport service is an effective measure to reduce logistics costs, shorten travel time and promote cabotage on multiple passable routes,” the ministry said on Sunday.
It should be noted here that at the start of the 2021-22 fiscal year, the cost of marine fuel was 10-15% lower than retail diesel. Therefore, the increase is effectively more than 40%.
“The rising cost of fuel internationally now renders our local Ro-Pax and Passenger Ferry operations unviable. This waiver of ship and port charges by the MoPSW will provide much needed respite to this sector for the next 6 months. We have also asked MoPNG to consider reducing fuel prices and the Ministry of Finance to reduce associated taxes to provide the necessary support to this sector in the current circumstances,” Sonowal said.
Additionally, the ministry called on states to lower their VAT rates on diesel used by this sector, saying these operational hurdles will eventually be a stumbling block in establishing this nascent waterway transport ecosystem in the country.
Airfares are determined by the market, airlines are free to set fares: Scindia clarifies that the Center does not regulate prices
Domestic air passenger traffic increases 67% to 5.72 crore in Jan-June 2022: DGCA
Ro-Pax services implemented by the Deendayal Port Authority between Ghogha and Hazira under the Sagarmala scheme have reduced the journey time from 12 hours to 4 hours. This service has transported over 78,000 vehicles and over 2.6 lakh passengers since its inception.
Similarly, the Maharashtra Maritime Board has launched a Ro-Pax ferry service on the Mumbai – Mandwa route. The project saved approximately 3 hours of road travel compared to 45 minutes by sea. Over 5.5 Lakh passengers availed of this Ro-Pax service and over 1 lakh vehicles were transported.