India re-elected to international maritime body council

London, Nov 28 (IANS) India has been re-elected for two years to the council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) at its 29th session here.

“With its re-election, India will continue to engage with the international maritime community to further its maritime interests and promote the welfare of its citizens,” the IMO said in a statement here on Saturday.

An Indian delegation, led by Shipping Secretary Rajive Kumar, Additional Secretary, Shipping, Alok Srivastava, Director General of Shipping Deepak Shetty, and Indian Register of National Ship-owners’ Association chief executive Anil Devli are participating in the 10-day session, which began on November 23 at the IMO headquarters.

“India’s export-import trade through sea routes is projected to nearly quadruple to 2,200 million tonne in 2020 from 600 million tonne per annum in 2015, with its value too zooming to $2,100 billion ($2.1 trillion) from $900 billion,” the statement said.

Ranked among top 20 countries on gross tonnage and deadweight, Indian shipping tonnage has grown to 10.4 million tonne this year, with 1,210 ships sailing with the cargo under its national flag across seas and oceans.

The 40-member IMO council plays a crucial role in deciding issues of global shipping industry, including its work programme strategy and budget.

As an IMO member since 1959, India has been serving its council over the past five decades except for two years — 1983 and 1984.

“India is committed to safety of life and protection of the marine environment. It has also taken steps to upgrade safety standards for cargo and passenger ships,” the statement noted.

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