The government has renamed Ministry of Shipping as the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (Pattan, Pot Parivahan aur Jalmarg Mantralaya) which signals its growing focus on coastal shipping and waterways. On 8th of November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the renaming of Ministry of Shipping while addressing, through video-conferencing, the inaugural ceremony of Ro-Pax ferry service between Hazira and Ghogha in Gujarat.
While making this historic announcement, the prime minister said “Now this Ministry will be known as Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. It is being expanded. In most of the developed economies, the Shipping Ministry is also responsible for Ports and Waterways. In India, the Shipping Ministry has been doing a lot of work related to Ports and Waterways. Now with more clarity in the name, more clarity will also come in the work.”
After the announcement by the prime minister, all the related formalities were completed within two working days and the official notification of the name change was published in the Gazette of India on 10th November 2020. Later,Union Minister of State (I/C) for Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Chemicals & Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya unveiled the plaque of Ministry’s new nomenclature in New Delhi. “With the changed name, the Ministry is going to put extra focus on the development of Waterways and coastal shipping. Around 1400 km of waterways have already been fully developed and additional 1000 km is being developed on priority for which DPR/feasibility study has been completed. We are also focussing for creation of a Port Grid, encompassing various smaller ports like fisheries port, agriculture port and mineral port etc so that port development and port-led development takes place in the country,” he said on the occasion.