Govt warns of strict action against shipping companies

Govt warns of strict action against shipping companies Chennai: The government on Wednesday warned of a "strict" action against those shipping companies which fail to pay salaries to their seafarers.

"See there are thousands of ships in the country ... We are taking up the cases which are coming to us. We are very strict in that. This is not the way (companies) should behave with their employees," Shipping Minister G K Vasan told reporters here.

Observing that seafarers should be given their dues properly, he said, "Whenever a complaint is received to the Ministry, I am taking it up very seriously to the concerned company through the Director General Shipping and we see to it that there is no injustice to the seafarers".

Reacting to reports of some seafarers were not paid salaries for several months, he said, "it is unfortunate. seafarers cannot be left out. They (the Shipping Companies) have to give their dues. If we get a chance with it (such cases), we deal it very strictly".

Earlier, at the fourth University Day of Indian Maritime University (IMU), Vasan said, "to remain competitive with nations in other economic regions, our country needs to adopt best practices and systems, which can be accomplished only with education and trained manpower".

Stating that the Ministry has formulated a Maritime Agenda-2020 as a strategic roadmap for the sector, he said, "this vision document aims to increase the share of Indian seafarers in the world market from seven per cent to nine per cent by 2015".

Observing that the strength of students studying in regular courses at Indian Maritime University is likely to go up by 2018-19, he said construction of buildings at the headquarters of IMU here in Chennai was making "steady progress".

"I am happy to inform you that an amount of Rs 282.25 crore was sanctioned by the Government, out of which Rs 272.3 crore has been set apart for infrastructure development and Rs 6.92 crore for recurring expenditure", he said.

Recalling his interaction with a top official of World Maritime University recently in New Delhi, Vasan said during the meeting they discussed about possibility of establishing a regional branch of World Maritime University in India.

"It was a very formal talk. It was my request. I had put it to him. We will have to wait (for their response)", he said.

PTI