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Handicraft exports see 8.46 pc increase in 2015-16: Smriti Irani

SMRITI-IRANI

New Delhi: India’s handicraft exports have increased by more than 8 per cent during the last fiscal, touching nearly Rs 31,000 crore, Textiles Minister Smriti Irani said in Lok Sabha today.

He told the Lok Sabha that the government plans to replace the Major Port Trusts Act to modernise and ensure more operational freedom for the ports. “There is no proposal to convert the major ports into corporate companies,” Gadkari said during Question Hour.

He said the performance of government-owned ports have shown better performance compared to the private ones. “A proposal to replace the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 is under consideration of the government with a view to modernise the institutional structure of major ports and secure greater operational freedom for the ports in tune with present day requirements,” the Minister said.

He said as per the proposal under consideration, the interests of labour has been taken care of by “providing for a labour nominee in the board of each port authority”.

Gadkari said modernisation of ports is a continuous process through construction and mechanisation of berths and expansion of port capacity, among others.

In the last three financial years, Shipping Ministry has awarded 86 projects entailing an investment of Rs 46,588.17 crore involving capacity addition of 534.90 million tonnes, he said.

Responding to supplementary questions, Gadkari said efforts would be made to develop the Mumbai port and make it a world class one.

PTI

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