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Waterways can provide great opportunities for young entrepreneurs: minister

Waterways can provide the greatest opportunities for young entrepreneurs, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal said on Tuesday.

Addressing the inaugural session of the Waterways Conclave 2022, the minister said that India can anchor robust business relations with its neighbours through the optimal and holistic development of the ecosystem of waterway.

Waterways Conclave 2022 is a two-day event organised by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and ICC as the industry partners in Dibrugarh, Assam.

The Minister invited the industry to proactively partner with the government in the waterways sector and contribute to the Prime Minister’s ‘AatmNirbhar Bharat’ vision.

Speaking virtually at the event, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari once again highlighted the high logistics cost in the country. He said that the logistics cost is 8 to 10% (of the cost of goods) in China, 10-12% in the European countries and around 12% in USA and 16% in India.

Gadkari averred that waterways are the most cost-effective medium of transport compared to road and railways, “as far as the logistic cost is concerned, the logistics efficiencies the waterways is the ultimate mission for all of us”, he added.

Highlighting the immense potential of the waterways ecosystem for the North-east region, Sanjay Bandopadhyaya, Chairman, Inland Waterways Authority of India, said, “we are not only trying to connect with the neighbouring countries, but also with all the states of this region and extending to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha”.

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