The National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) and the Maritime Union of India (MUI) have strongly protested against the decisions – Cabotage relaxation, Right of First Refusal (ROFR) for Indian flag ships, and privatize the Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) — of the Government.
On the call of NUSI and MUI, hundreds of log entries were received from seafarers onboard the ships on Indian and foreign flags ships including DCI. There is lot of anger amongst the seafarers.
NUSI team led by General Secretary-cum-Treasurer, Shri Abdulgani Y. Serang and MUI team led by General Secretary, Shri Amar Singh Thakur met Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping on 13th July, 2018 at Visakhapatnam, protesting against the decisions of the Government of India in the above three matters.
Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping assured NUSI and MUI team that no steps will be taken which will take away the jobs of Indian seafarers and the Indian shipping will not suffer because of the Government policies. The Hon’ble Minister further stated that the Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) will not be privatized and will be entirely supported by Government of India through the three ports of New Mangalore, Paradip and Visakhapatnam.
It may be noted that the Government of India has relaxed the Cabotage in the Indian coast. Also, you are also aware that there is a move to further relax the Right of First Refusal (ROFR) for Indian flag ships. This will mean that Indian flag ships will lose business which will directly negatively affect the jobs of Indian seafarers. It will also mean that foreign flag ships with foreign seafarers can work exclusively in the Indian coast.
Additionally, there was also a decision of the Government of India to privatize the Dredging Corporation of India (DCI). NUSI and MUI have been consistently taking up the above three matters with the Government of India for a longtime.
According to a media statement from NUSI, there is a positive assurance from Government of India regarding the above three matters strongly taken up by NUSI and MUI.
A close watch will be kept by these unions regarding the developments in the points raised above so that the interest of the Indian seafarers in particular and the Indian shipping fraternity in general is not harmed.