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Need to promote investment in inland waterways

Mumbai: Emphasising the need to promote investments in inland waterways, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said good transport infrastructure is critical to making growth process more inclusive.

"In inland waterways we need to promote investments, particularly in the remote areas of our country, like in the north east," Singh said at the valedictory function to mark the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Shipping Corporation of India here.

"A good transport infrastructure is critical not only for increasing the pace of our economic development but also for making our growth processes more inclusive," he said.

"We should look seriously at coastal shipping and inland waterways as environment friendly and fuel efficient modes of transport for optimising the overall logistics cost and reaching the hinterland," he said.

There was a need to accelerate the pace of expansion of the port sector, especially through public-private partnerships, he said.

"We also need to improve the draught in our ports by increasing the pace of dredging," the Prime Minister said.

"There is also a need for seamless integration of various models of transport and therefore for the coordinated development of the shipping industry, land-based logistics and the port sector," Singh said.

Much greater attention needs to be paid to ensuring good road and rail connectivity to ports, especially the new minor ports coming up in the private sector, he said.

"We have set up the National Transport Development Policy Committee under the chairmanship of Dr Rakesh Mohan, and I am confident that the Committee will provide useful suggestions on these issues," the Prime Minister said.

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