The cargo traffic at Major Ports declined by 4.57% during 2020-21 as compared to 2019-20. Total traffic handled at Major Ports in 2020-21 was 672.68 Million Tonnes as compared to 704.927 million tonnes in 2019-20. COVID-19’s impact at Major Ports started from March 2020.
The traffic handled between April-Oct 2021 has increased by 14.59% as compared to the same period over the previous year. During the period of Apr-Oct 2021 Major Ports handled total traffic of around 406.9 million tonnes as compared to 355.16 million tonnes handled for same period last in 2020.
Government took various efforts and initiatives to mitigate the impact of pandemic and ensure smooth functioning of supply chains. Some of the key initiatives taken are as follows:
- Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and its associated bodies issued various advisories/circulars to provide relief to the trade in terms of non-charging of demurrage and other penalties/charges.
- Major Ports ensured storage space for cargo and accommodation and food for migrant labourers working in their premises.
- Major Ports remitted VRC charges for quarantined vessels Various technological/digital induction were expedited during COVID-19 pandemic to maintain smooth functioning without human interference such as E-invoice, E-payment, E-DO and E-BoL at PCS1x, Utility for Sign-on & sign-off (E-pass module), Utility for data verification of seafarers from chartered flights, Online ship Registrations & online charter licensing.
This information was given by Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shri Sarbananda Sonowal in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.