India: ‘Shipping sector needs protection from multinationals’

The domestic shipping industry needs to be protected from the growing threat of multinationals through a measure similar to that of anti-dumping duty for products.

“India has a vibrant local market and a number of multinational shipping companies are tapping the domestic market. Local companies need to be protected,” said Mr S. Hajara, Chairman and Managing Director, Shipping Corporation India. Speaking at the inaugural session of India Maritime Summit 2009, ‘Challenges and changing global economic landscape,’ organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Mr Hazara said while infrastructure status was given to ship building and ports, shipping was not covered. The old theory is that anything movable cannot be given infrastructure status. On the shores, there are provisions such as duty exemptions and anti-dumping duty to protect local industries. The argument is that anti-dumping duty was not applicable for services sector, and hence, shipping will not be covered under that. “But, we are now facing huge competition from multinationals, which are tapping the local market. Protectionalism has been strongly practiced in other countries, and Indian shipping should also be protected,” Mr Hazara said.

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