Kochi: Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said the profit-making Cochin Shipyard Limited would not be privatized. "There is feeling in the minds of the labor unions that we are going to privative the shipyard. That is not the idea and we will never allow any private person to take this. Because the The Cochin Shipyard (CSL) is in good profit," the minister for shipping, road transport and highways said.
He was speaking after performing the ground breaking ceremony for setting up a Rs 970 crore international ship repair facility (ISRF) here. The facility is being built at Cochin Port Trust, where Cochin Shipyard Ltd has leased out 40-acres for developing the project.
The minister said the profit from the 12 major ports in the country was expected to touch Rs 7,000 crore in the next fiscal.
"We have 12 bigger ports. When I took the charge as the minister, in the first year our profit was Rs 3,000 crore, second year it was Rs 4,000 crore and third year it was Rs 5,000 crores and this year we are expecting Rs 7000 crore," Gadkari said at the meeting presided over by Lok Sabha MP K V Thomas.
The project approved by the Government of India in May 2016 will set up a ship lift system of size 130 m x 25 m with lifting capacity of 6000 tons and 6 work stations. The facility can repair up to 85 vessels, and CSL will thereby be almost doubling the number of ships that can be repaired per year.
"This is a historical movement in the history of Kerala and Cochin Shipyard. This will give 6000 job opportunities to the state directly and indirectly", he said.
"As of now the country was facing lack of technologies for the ship repairing and maintenance activities. With the new facility, we need not to depend other countries," Gadkari said.
He said technically and financially the Cochin Shipyard is very strong.
"It is time that they should look at expanding to other places in the country," he said assuring land across the country for CSL branches.
Cochin Shipyard chairman and managing director Madhu S Nair said on completion within two years, Kochi would be a major ship repair hub in India generating an additional employment of around 1,500 personnel.
Gadkari also inaugurated a unique event 'Build The Ship 2017' being organized by the Ministry of Shipping. The event deliberated upon the recommendations of a study regarding the growth strategies and the recommendations for promotion of ship building, ship design, ship repair and marine ancillaries in India.