The Ministry of Shipping has reduced tariff rates ranging from 60 per cent to 70 per cent for cruise ships, which will give substantial relief to the cruise industry in the country.
In a report, the Ministry said that it was part of the government’s efforts to support the economy during the Corona pandemic.
The port charges for a cruise ship will be at $0.085 per GRT (Gross Registered Tonnage), instead of $0.35, the current rate, for the first 12 hours stay, and $5 per passenger (‘Head Tax’). The ports will not charge any other rate like berth hire, port dues, pilotage and passenger fee.
For the period exceeding 12 hours stay, the fixed charges on cruise ships will be equal to the Berth Hire Charges payable as per SOR (Schedule of Rates), with 40 per cent discount as applicable for cruise ships.
Further, cruise ships making 1 to 50 calls per year would get 10 per cent rebate, 51 to 100 calls per year would get 20 per cent rebate and those making more than 100 calls per year 30 per cent rebate, the Ministry’s release added. The rationalised tariff would come with immediate effect for a period of one year.
The main aim of the concession was to provide support to the cruise shipping business, which had been very adversely affected owing to the Corona pandemic. It would ensure the growth of the cruise shipping and tourism industry. With policy support of the Shipping Ministry since 2014, the number of calls made by cruise ships in India had increased from 128 in 2015-16 to 593 in 2019-20.
Union Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya said the decision was to put India on the map of global cruise market both for the ocean and river cruises. “It will be a big support for cruise tourism in India. It will provide the opportunity to earn a huge amount of foreign exchange and generate sizable direct and indirect onshore employment in the cruise tourism sector,” the Minister added.