Highlights

Indian Shipping Ministry recently waived Waterways Usage Charges for 3 years.

The Waterways Usage Charges have been waived off to achieve the target of Govt of India to make inland waterways as a supplementary, cheaper, and eco-friendly mode of transport. The Inland Waterways Authority of India ( Under Ministry of Shipping) has levied Waterways Usage Charges for plying cargo vessels on the national waterways.

The Inland Waterways Authority of India is the statutory authority that monitors and maintains waterways in India (form of rivers, canals, backwaters and creeks).

Benefits

The relinquish is expected to increase inland waterway traffic movement to 110 MMT by 2022-23. It was 72 MMT in 2019-20. The reduced charges of water transport will attract more industries to use national waterways for their logistical needs. Also, it will reduce burden on other transport system in the nation.

Background

There are 14,500 km (9009 miles) of navigable waterways in India. The National Waterways Act, 2016 pronounced 111 rivers, creeks, river stretches and estuaries in the india as National Waterways.

Despite all these measures, Inland Water Transport in India is miniscule as compared to other nations. It is just 0.5 per cent in India. On the other hand, it is 8.3 per cent in US, 8.7 per cent in Mainland China, 7 per cent in Europe and 42 per cent in Netherlands.

Waterways Usage Charges waived for three years