The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today laid the Foundation Stone of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust Special Economic Zone, at Sheva in Navi Mumbai.
He also laid the Foundation Stone for widening of Port Connectivity Road from JNPT to the National Highway. He symbolically handed over land allotment letters to Project Affected Persons.
Addressing a large public gathering at the function site, the Prime Minister said his Government had conceived Sagarmala, an ambitious project for maritime states. This would envisage not merely port development, but port-led development which would include ports, SEZs; and rail, road, air and waterway connectivity with the hinterland, including linkages of cold storage and warehousing facilities. Noting that two-third of all global trade, and 50 percent of container trade happens through the Indian Ocean, the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of the ports sector. Ports can become gateways to India`s prosperity, he added.
The Prime Minister said the Government is concerned at the large number of stalled SEZ projects across the country, and a high-level team has been constituted to review the problems and resolve them at the earliest.
The Prime Minister said export promotion was the need of the hour. "Until we join manufacturers in export promotion, and unless States and Centre work together, we cannot achieve new heights in exports", the Prime Minister said. He added that the Union Government had recently convened a meeting with States to understand bottlenecks in exports, and States would soon be given the right to form their own Export Promotion Councils. Let there be competition among States for exports, the Prime Minister said. The Government had recently done away with the requirement of renewal of shipping licenses every year, and now the license would be granted for a lifetime, Shri Narendra Modi said, praising Union Minister for Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari for this move. He added that his Government wishes to create an environment for ease of business, and encouragement for youth.
The Prime Minister said that shipbuilding is now a big opportunity. Noting the strides that South Korea has taken in shipbuilding, the Prime Minister said India should also try to do so.
Elaborating his theme of Come, make in India, which he mentioned during his Independence Day address, the Prime Minister said his Government will encourage foreign investment in shipbuilding.
Made in India should occupy a place in the global market, the Prime Minister said.
Shri Narendra Modi also said that this was his first public function in Maharashtra after taking over as Prime Minister and he was indeed fortunate that it is in Raigarh district, a place closely associated with the great Maratha King, Shivaji.
Welcoming the Prime Minister, the Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Shri Nitin Gadkari, told the large gathering that the JNPT SEZ would provide employment to 1.5 lakh people.
The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Prithviraj Chavan, also addressed the gathering, on the occasion.