The charges are waived initially for three years.
Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that currently only two per cent of total cargo traffic moves through waterways. The Minister said, decision of waiving waterway charges will attract the industries to use the national waterways for their logistical needs. The Minister added that as the mode of transport is eco-friendly and cheaper, it will not only reduce the burden on other transport modes but also promote the ease of doing business.
Water usage charge was applicable on use of all the national waterways by vessels. It was a hindrance in administration of traffic movement and collection of traffic data. Presently, Inland Waterways Authority of India levies the waterway usage charges at a rate of two paise per gross registered tonnage per kilometre for plying of Inland cargo vessels and five paise per gross registered tonnage per kilometre for plying of Cruise vessels on national waterways.
The decision is estimated to increase the inland waterway traffic movement to 110 Million Metric Tonnes in 2022-23 from 72 Million Metric Tonne in 2019-20. It will benefit the economic activities and development in the region.