PM for adequate control over maritime activity

Spurt in incidents of piracy close to Indian shores weighing on his mind, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday stressed the need to ensure adequate control over maritime activity for security reasons.

Mumbai: Spurt in incidents of piracy close to
Indian shores weighing on his mind, Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh on Saturday stressed the need to ensure adequate control over
maritime activity for security reasons.

"Any industry can thrive only in an atmosphere of safety
and security. Incidents of piracy and armed robbery against
ships are a cause of concern to all of us and to the shipping
industry in particular.

"Instances of pirate attacks in the Arabian Sea and more
recently in the Indian Ocean, much beyond the piracy infested
areas of Gulf of Aden, pose a serious threat to us by putting
at risk a large number of Indian seafarers and ships, as also
our seaborne trade," he said.

"Our Navy, Coast Guard and shipping companies are putting
up a concerted effort in close coordination with other
international agencies to deal with this menace," he said.

The Prime Minister was addressing the valedictory
function of Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Shipping
Corporation of India (SCI) here.

"As our maritime sector, including shipping ports,
shipbuilding and ship-repair, is of vital significance to our
economy, we should collectively make every effort possible for
the growth of this sector," he said.

"However, we should also ensure adequate Indian control
over our maritime activity, for reasons of maritime security,"
he said.

In the context of India`s growing trade and increasing
energy demand and dependence on global energy markets, there
is an urgent need to further develop our national fleet, he
said.

The Prime Minister asked the Indian shipping companies to
pursue their growth plans in the right earnest and in tune
with the global economic environment.

PTI

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