- Since Nitin Gadkari took over as shipping minister, the government has put greater focus on coastal shipping and waterways.
- The Cabinet okayed a legislation to declare 101 rivers as national waterways so that the Centre can explore the possibilities of cargo and passenger movement on these rivers.
- The government is set to provide financial incentive to transporters and shippers to push domestic cargo transportation through inland waterways rather than road and rail.
- The total incentive would be about Rs 295 crore. It will start from April 1 and continue till March 2017.
- Under this scheme, there will be incentive of Rs 300 per two-wheeler, Rs 600 per three-wheeler and Rs 3,000 for other vehicles if these are transported over water.
- Similarly, transportation of bulk or break-bulk cargo pertaining to seven commodities — fertilizers, food grains, marbles, tiles, sugar, edible salt and over-dimensional cargo — shall be eligible for an incentive of Re 1 per tonne per nautical mile up to a maximum of 1,500 nautical miles in each trip.
- Transportation of any commodity in containers in full container load shall be eligible for an incentive of Rs 3,000 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit).