Financial Express, July 27, 2021
Introduction of Inland Vessels Bill 2021: A few days ago, Inland Vessels Bill, 2021 was introduced in the Lok Sabha by Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal. The new bill seeks to replace the Inland Vessels Act of 1917 for the regulation of security, safety as well as registration of inland vessels. According to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, the Inland Vessels Bill would promote economical and safer navigation. It would ensure the protection of life and cargo. Also, the bill would lead to uniformity in the application of law relating to inland waterways and navigation. Apart from these benefits, the Inland Vessels Bill would also facilitate the reduction of pollution.
Yesterday, Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shantanu Thakur in a written reply in Rajya Sabha said that in the course of new legislation, the draft Indian Ports Bill 2020 has been circulated by the Ports, Shipping and Waterways Ministry for seeking inputs from all stakeholders viz. state maritime boards, state governments, major ports, the general public, etc. This ministry has carefully examined the feedback/suggestions on the draft Indian Ports Bill, 2020 as received from the stakeholders concerned and it has suitably incorporated in the draft Indian Ports Bill, 2021, Thakur stated.
According to the Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, the current version of the Indian Ports Bill, 2021 has also been circulated to all stakeholders in order to provide comments. He further said, the draft of the Indian Ports Bill was also discussed in the meeting of the Maritime State Development Council (MSDC), which was held on 24 June 2021. Some of the state governments’ comments are still awaited. Still, the proposed legislation is under the consultative stage, the Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways added in his reply to Rajya Sabha.
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