Circular No. ES/ 276 /2020-21 25th July, 2020
To: Members of the Council
Sub.: Ministry of Shipping waives waterways usage charges to promote Inland water transport
The Ministry of Shipping on 24th July, 2020 vide its Press Release has decided to waive waterway usage charges considering the Indian government’s vision to promote inland waterways as an eco-friendly, supplementary, and cheaper mode of transport. The decision is estimated to increase the inland waterway traffic movement to 110 MMT in 2022-23 from 72 MMT in 2019-20. It will benefit the economic activities and development in the region.
It may be informed that currently only 2% of total cargo traffic moves through waterways.
Importance of waiving waterway usage charges:
The decision of waiving waterway charges will attract the industries to use the national waterways for their logistical needs.
The mode of transport is eco-friendly and cheaper.
It will not only reduce the burden on other transport modes but also promote the ease of doing business.
Earlier, water usage charge was applicable on the use of all the national waterways by vessels. It was a hindrance in the administration of traffic movement and the collection of traffic data. Currently, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) levies the waterway usage charges at a rate of Rs 0.02 per gross registered tonnage (GRT) per kilometer for plying of Inland cargo vessels and Rs. 0.05 per gross registered tonnage (GRT) per kilometer for plying of Cruise vessels on national waterways.
Members may kindly make a note of the above.