India looking at operating ferry services between Karaikal port and Jaffna port in Sri Lanka
The Indian media has reported that the central government of India is keen to operate ferry services between Karaikal port in India’s South and Jaffna port in Sri Lanka as part of its efforts to promote tourism.
The Indian media has quoted Union Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya as making this observation.
The hindu.com has told reporters after chairing a review meeting in India last week that a committee headed by the Chief Secretary of the Union Territory and comprising the Secretaries to Port and Tourism would be constituted to prepare a blueprint for the project. “The Centre would take a decision once the proposal is submitted,” he has said.
Mandaviya has said the Centre would extend full support for the project, which would be implemented on a public private partnership (PPP) mode and that the Karaikal port would be the facilitator and both the Centre and Puducherry governments would extend their support.
The ferry services would primarily facilitate tourism. “It will help Sri Lankan Tamils and Buddhists in the island nation to visit Tamil Nadu and the Buddhist circuit in the country.”
Tourism Minister Malladi Krishna Rao has said that initiative to operate ferry services between Karaikal port and Jaffna had been on for the last four years and the Puducherry government had been repeatedly persuading the Centre for its sanction. “Now a positive response has come from the Centre and the project wll go on stream without any financial burden on the territorial government,” he has said.
Rao has further said that the fare would be in the range of US$ 90 to US$ 100 and the project would facilitate tourism and development of Karaikal region.
Sri Lanka and India enjoy strong bilateral and trade ties. The two countries enjoy a functioning free trade agreement and is closely connected by strong maritime and aviation links. In such a backdrop, the proposed ferry service would further boost trade ties between the two countries. Indian businesses/investors could therefore confidently explore business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka and vice versa. Also, foreign businesses looking at doing business with India could explore the possibility of setting up base in Sri Lanka in order to engage in business with India using the preferential treatment enjoyed by the island.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/20200305/Z_4|