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India calls for joint effort to combat piracy at seas

In 2010, the economic cost of piracy estimated $7-12 billion In 2010, the economic cost of maritime piracy on the supply chain was estimated to be $7-12 billion, said the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) quoting the One Earth Foundation. Piracy is a concern to any industry having to navigate through the Gulf of Aden to deliver goods by water, said the ICC, a global representative body that speaks on behalf of enterprises from all sectors in every part of the world.For India, piracy is a serious issue as a large number of Indian seafarers work on board foreign ships that pass through the Somalia coast every day. In January, India voiced its concern on the increasing piracy at the United Nations, and proposed a five-point plan, including tracking the trail of ransom money, to curb piracy.The Union Minister of Shipping, Mr G.K. Vasan, at the Maritime Summit 2011 at Oslo on Tuesday too highlighted India's concerns about increasing incidents of piracy and the need for concerted unified action under the UN. Ministers from 10 other countries also participated in the Summit.Increasing attacksThe past year has witnessed an escalation in both violence and the number of attacks on ships and ...

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India decided to allow armed guards on board vessels sailing on piracy waters

Crusial decision as piracy incidents increase The Indian Government has decided to allow deployment of armed guards preferably retired naval officers on board Indian cargo vessels sailing on the pirate-infested waters of the Indian Ocean, a top government official told Business Line.Detailed guidelines on the number of guards that each vessel can have will be issued shortly, he said. In the wake of rising incidents of piracy on the high seas, Indian shipping lines have been seeking government permission to deploy armed guards on board their ships.The plan is to give preference to retired naval officers, said the official who has just returned from the meeting of the Intentional Maritime Organisation (IMO) which discussed the guidelines on allowing armed guard on board the merchant ships. The Maritime Safety Committee of IMO has endorsed the use of armed guards.Draft guidelinesIn India, the proposal under consideration is to seek retired navy officers from the pool maintained by the Directorate of Resettlement under the Ministry of Defence. Each vessel can have a group of five armed personnel one officer and four others. The shipping companies have to bear the cost of hiring the guards.A draft guidelines prepared by the director general of shipping ...

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India is planning more seaports than its trade and economy can afford

More ports planned in India than the country actually needs There are more ports planned in India than the country actually needs.There seems to be a herd race for developing ports. The cumulative capacity of all port projects being discussed if added could surpass current global trade.Government is certain that some will be realized and in 2020 the capacity will be 2.2 bn tones, roughly 3 times current traffic and about 25% of current global trade.Is there something seriously wrong with Indian Ports Sector? AnalysisIn financial year 2010, Indian seaports handled 850 mn tonnes of cargo, about 9% of the global trade. Shipping Ministry is planning to augment the capacity of port to 2,200 mn tonnes by 2020, which is roughly 25% of current global trade. Is it not too much knowing India's trade pattern which is dominated by raw materials, export iron ore and import coal and crude oil.Take Gujarat for example, the fastest growing industrial state in India. With well developed infrastructure it is in a better position to cater to land locked North & Central India which houses India's roughly 50% of population.It has more than 41 ports (including Kandla) and is ever ready to declare a ...

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India demands for paying less charges to marine insurers

Marine insurers should stop charging a war risk premium, already many insurance costs India wants marine insurers to stop charging a war risk premium on cargo ships plying the Indian Ocean that increases freight costs, and is lobbying the global maritime regulator for help in the matter.A joint war committee comprising underwriters from the Lloyds Market Association and International Underwriting Association on 8 January expanded large parts of northern Indian Ocean as a conflict zone, the eastern border of which extends to the west coast of India.This has raised insurance costs of cargo reaching or going out of the countrys western ports.Indias exporters and importers will also have to bear higher costs for transporting goods because of restricted availability of ships as many fleet owners may avoid using this route instead of paying higher premium, according to T.V. Shanbhag, group adviser to Indias biggest ship-broking firm, Mumbai-based Transocean Shipping Agency Pvt LtdConsidering that there have been no (pirate) attacks reported for the last two months within 500 nautical miles (926km) from the Indian coast, after the Indian Navy has taken remedial measures, it is imperative that the eastern boundary of the war zone be reduced to an appropriate longitude, M.M. ...

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India seen as a major Baltex trader

A major player on the Baltic Exchange As a leading global trader, India should be a major player on the Baltic Exchange's central trading platform to be launched in May covering forward freight agreements (FFA), a hedging tool for shippers, shipping companies and trade financiers, a senior official in the exchange has said."We see Indian global traders having a significantly higher role in the FFA trade," said Philip Williams, manager for Asia Pacific in the exchange's Singapore representative office.India-based companies were already using the Exchange's daily freight indices and assessments on coal and iron ore trade movements between India, Indonesia, Australia and China, Williams told PTI.The exchange produces around 50 specific route-based reports daily providing freight rate assessments that are widely used by traders as benchmarks in booking ships and cargo space on both the dry cargo and tanker markets.It began producing such information as long ago as 1985."Going by Indian demand for our FFA information, we are confident of seeing more and more Indian companies hedging exposure to freight market risk through the trading of specific time charter and voyage rates for forward positions," stressed Williams, who set up the exchange's Singapore office in 2007 to cover Asia Pacific ...

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Indian merchant navy officers to grab 9% global share by 2015

Government plans to acquire four training ships Aiming to increase the global share of Indian merchant navy officers to 9% by 2015 in the wake of shortage of personnel, the government plans to acquire four training ships at a cost of Rs 500 crore.India is the fifth largest supplier of officers globally at present having a share of 6.3% out of 5,50,000 officers."The acquisitions will be made through state-owned Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) and each dedicated training vessel is likely to carry 400 trainees. The cost for four vessels to be acquired is estimated at Rs 500 crore," a Shipping Ministry official told PTI.There is acute shortage of trained manpower in the space in view of increasing fleet size and the number of officers globally is likely to swell to 6,60,000 by 2015, he said."Shortage of officers is likely to be become acute by 2013 and India can very well aspire to increase its market share to 9%, the official said adding it will have to supply 65,000 additional officers by 2015.In this regard, the Ministry is planning to increase the on board training slots from 4,000 at present to 16,000 in the next few years.Also, the Ministry plans ...

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India warns rising oil prices could hit global recovery

The global recovery may be jeopardized by a sustained rise in oil prices India Saturday warned that the global recovery from the worst financial crisis in decades may be jeopardised by a sustained rise in oil prices and speculative movements in commodity derivative markets."The global recovery may be jeopardized by a sustained rise in oil prices," Reserve Bank of India Governor Duvvuri Subbarao said participating in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank spring meetings here."Speculative movements in commodity derivative markets are also causing volatility in prices," he said.Special Drawing Rights or SDRs cannot be a reserve currency in the international payment system as it does not meet the necessary conditions to play this role, Subbarao said."The SDR has to be accepted as a liability at the IMF, has to be automatically acceptable as a medium of payment in cross-border transactions, be freely tradable and its price has to be determined by forces of demand and supply," he said."As the SDR does not satisfy these conditions, it cannot be a reserve currency in the international payment system.""Going by the recent initiatives, if at all there is a move to alter the composition of the SDR basket, we could consider ...

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India wants UN anti-piracy resolution to mention hostage plight

Constitution of a welfare fund for the victims of piracy India is lobbying for a reference to the sufferings of hostages in a proposed United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution against maritime piracy so that there is greater pressure on ship owners to resolve hijack situations.India also wants the constitution of a welfare fund for the victims of piracy.The UNSC is scheduled to take up a resolution on piracy April 11 that is expected to moot an international judicial mechanism for prosecuting captured pirates."India is hoping that this resolution will also have a reflection on the plight of hostages," a senior external affairs ministry official told IANS, not wishing to be identified because of service rules.According to latest figures, 53 Indian sailors are being held hostage on five different ships. Of them, 17 have been held the longest on MT Savina Caylyn, an Italian ship which was captured over a year ago Feb 8, 2010.Russia has circulated a draft resolution which aims to set up a judicial mechanism to prosecute pirates caught by international navies patrolling the waters off the Horn of Africa. It calls for the establishment of three specialised courts, as well as the construction of two new ...

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