Identifying the long coastline of India and the country’s potential to become a significant ‘Blue Economy’, the Aayog has also initiated a discussion to leverage India’s status as a major maritime nation.
The discussion on the subject was started by former Navy chief R K Dhowan. He elaborated his ideas on a perspective plan for maritime aspects and Navy. He further stated that India naturally is a maritime country.
In support of his statement, Dhowan further stressed we must leverage this natural and strategic maritime advantage of over 7,500 km of coastline, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of above two million sq km, over 1300 islands and network of rivers.
India’s strategic location within the Indian Ocean Region, he said, is why maritime trade accounts for about 75 per cent by value and more than 90 per cent by volume of Indian trade.
According to the former navy chief, Indian ship-building industry needs urgent attention as South Korea, China and Japan are way ahead.
He further added, to boost the ship-building industry, access related restrictions must be loosened and tax structure should be made efficient enough.
Highlighting another area of trans-shipment, he argued that fishing is another economic activity having significant potential. We have to promote and develop deep sea fishing which is almost non-existent, he said. He also stressed on harnessing the potential of ocean thermal energy and deep-sea mining.