Indian vessels carried 33.6% of the total sea-borne cargo during 1993-94. The fleet strength at the end of November 1995 was 471 vessels of 7 million Gross registered Tonnage (GRT). Overseas trade during 1193-94 was 137 million tons.
There are 2 major public sector ship building yards - Hindustan Shipyards Limited and Cochin Shipyards Limited. Due to various reasons like high construction costs, heavy interest burden on debt, low order book position, excessive manpower etc., these yards were incurring losses. However, as a result of the revival measures initiated by the government in September 1993, they have now turned around.
In order to promote the development of Indian shipping, a new shipping policy was initiated in 1990-91 whose policy measures are summarized below :
(a) all categories of ships except Crude tankers and Off-shore Supply Vessels and
(b) replacement tonnage.