Barge owners seek ‘interest subsidy’


A delegation of Goa Barge Owners Association, Goa, met the Union Minister for Shipping Thiru G K Vasan, requesting him to declare Goa as a mining ban affected area and grant relief to the barge industry by granting an ‘Interest Subsidy’ to barge owners.  
The declaration of Goa as mining ban affected area could help barge owners secure relief through the Reserve Bank of India on the same lines as relief granted to areas affected by natural calamities. The barge industry has a loan exposure of approximately Rs 365.00 crore.
The delegation, led by association president Atul Jadhav wanted the minister to declare within a time-frame, Goan waters as ‘partially smooth waters’ which would facilitate extension of the ‘inland vessels limits’.  The delegation informed the minister that the wave height data based on a study by Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, Hyderabad, was already compiled for Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa (being submitted) which indicated a significant wave height of less than 1.80 metres.
The delegation also met the Chairman of Inland Waterways Authority of India and explained to him the difficulties faced by Goan barge owners. [H]