By Amit Kumar
New Delhi [India], Aug 14 (ANI): The Ministry of Shipping has rationalized tariff rates for the cruise vessels plying on the rivers and oceanic waters of India. The net effect of the rate relaxation would be an immediate reduction in port charges ranging from 60 per cent to 70 per cent, which will give substantial relief to the cruise industry in India and promotion of cruise tourism in a country that is affected due to COVID -19 pandemic.
"We have reduced berthing charges (port charges) of cruise ships on the Indian coast by 70 per cent to promote cruise tourism. No other country in the world has slashed rates by such a margin. The tourism sector has suffered amid COVID-19. Cruise travelling is ban but when it will open then cruise from different parts of the world will come to India," Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Shipping (Independent Charge) told ANI.
"Due to policy support by the Modi government since 2014, the number of calls made by cruise ships in India has increased from 128 in 2015-16 to 593 in 2019-20," he added.
Mandaviya said that after reducing the port tariff rate, it will provide the opportunity to earn a huge amount of foreign exchange and generate sizeable direct and indirect onshore employment in the cruise tourism sector of India. (ANI)