Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday called for developing capabilities and legal systems, so that the country can have an international arbitration centre for the maritime sector.
Addressing the final day of the three-day global maritime summit here, the minister said, while there are many Indians working in international arbitration centres in London or Singapore or Dubai, they are all just helping the senior lawyers there and not leading a case.
This needs to change and can change, she said.
But there is a need to improve and strengthen our arbitration processes and laws so that they meet global standards, the minister said, adding that "when we have developed a system for this we can also have an arbitration centre".
On the need to improve financing to the maritime sector, she admitted that despite having a strong balance sheet, banks are not very enthused about funding this sector, largely due to higher risks this sector is associated with.
Sitharaman said she is in talks with public sector banks to have a more positive approach to this sector. I also want private sector lenders to look at shipping and maritime sectors more proactively.
Sitharaman further said the operators should also look at fundraising on their own by asset monetisation.
In fact, nine of the 12 government ports have identified 35 projects for monetisation and if all goes well Rs 14,483 crore worth of projects can be monetised, as part of the national asset monetisation pipeline.