August 12 - The Indian Ministry of Shipping has issued an order relaxing cabotage laws for specialised vessels, such as ro-ro and ro-pax ships, pure car carriers, pure car and truck carriers, LNG vessels and project cargo carriers.

The lifting of these restraints on foreign-registered specialised vessels is part of the Indian government's plan to shift the movement of such cargo away from the country's congested roads and railways.

You can find out more about the government's ongoing scheme - Scheme for Incentivising Modal Shift of Cargo (SIMSC) - here.

The Press Information Bureau of the Government of India reported that the Ministry of Shipping has prepared a policy note regarding cabotage and circulated it to all stakeholders, departments and agencies for comments.

"The operational cost of Indian vessels is estimated to be higher than that of foreign vessels due to duties and taxes on bunker fuel, income tax on seafarer's income, and other taxes paid by Indian flag vessels," said the report.