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     Paradip (Odisha), November 27, 2023: Maritime trade has been playing an important role in the trade and economic development of India, President Droupadi Murmu said here today.

      The President noted that 95 per cent of India’s total trade in terms of volume and 65 per cent in terms of value are done through sea transport.

     She stated that India’s ports need to function with greater efficiency in line with the global standards. That is why, there is a need to further strengthen the infrastructure of Indian ports and increase their efficiency.

     The Sagarmala program is a commendable step in that direction, she said adding the Government of India is working to realize the vision of ‘Ports for Prosperity’ and ‘Ports for Progress’.

     The President was here to grace the Boita Bandana ceremony, being organized by the Paradip Port Authority, at Paradip today.

    She also virtually inaugurated a Multi Model Logistic Park as well as laid the foundation stones for new reservoir and water treatment plant for Port Township and next-gen Vessel Traffic Management and Information System.

      Addressing the function the President said that remembering the historical memories of Baliyatra – a symbolic boat trip of merchants to the islands of Java, Sumatra, and Bali etc. every year is appreciable. Baliyatra is a unique festival celebrated in the memory of its glorious past. Celebrated since time immemorial, this festival is a symbol of the prosperity of maritime trade of Odisha. It also highlights the rich cultural consciousness of the people of Odisha.

     Sea has been a major means of strengthening India’s trade, commerce and international relations. Literature based on the sea has also enriched Indian culture. Odisha and other coastal states had a long and prosperous tradition of naval commerce. Apart from trade and commerce, those merchants also played an important role in spreading Indian art and culture abroad, the President said.

     Murmu was happy to note that Paradip Port’s cargo handling capacity has doubled in the last decade. It is poised to become the largest port on the east coast. It also got the ‘Port of Operational Excellence Award’ at the Global Maritime India Summit – 2023. She expressed confidence that today inaugurated Multi-Modal Logistics Park will give a new direction to the transparent development of trade. She said that Vessel Traffic Management and Information System (VTMIS) enabled new modern signal stations will make navigation through this port more safe and orderly.

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