The cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) approved India’s accession to the Hong Kong Convention on Hong Kong International Convention for Ship Recycling, which will enable a boost to the ship-wrecking industry in India.
"By this accession to the Hong Kong International convention, we are bringing in global best practices and we are not becoming a backyard of all rejected ships, but on the contrary scientifically dealing with ship recycling," Sitharaman said.
The proposed bill entails restriction and prohibition of installation of any hazardous material, irrespective of the ship meant for recycling or not. This restriction for new ships works with immediate effect while the existing will have a period of five years for compliance. The prohibition of use of hazardous material will not be applicable to warships, and non-commercial ships operated by the government.
The bill also mentions about ship recycling facilities, which need to be authorized and the ships must be recycled at such centers only. Ships that are required to be recycled need to obtain a 'Ready for Recycling Certificate'.
As per data available for the year 2018, India handles around five million gross tonnage (MnGT) annually, which is around 25% share of the world’s ship recycling industry. The government plans to nearly double this by 2024, at around nine MnGT.
The industry being largely concentrated in South Asia makes India the leading market for ship-wrecking globally, with the Alang-Sosiya ship breaking yard in Gujarat handling around 450 ships every year.