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ACCI is likely to observe Trade Bandh from 12 April onwards; To contribute our part in the development, we require proper infrastructure and approvals to look forward to: Girish Arora

TMI Correspondent

Port Blair, Apr 08: The Andaman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) an apex body for safeguarding business interest in Andaman & Nicobar Islands have organised a press conference on April 06, 2023 to bring into the notice of scribes about the challenges they face in Trade and Industries sector and keeping the issues unresolved for a long time. The ACCI after its Executive Committee meeting held on 04 April, 2023 with 28 representatives from Trade Associations, and according to its decision the ACCI have sent a letter addressed to Lt. Governor, A&N Islands with a copy to Chief Secretary, A&N Administration dated 05/04/2023 demanding redressal within 07 days failing which an indefinite Trade Bandh will be observed from April 12, 2023 onwards.

Speaking on the occasion, ACCI President, Shri Surendra Prahladka have informed about the key notes of the challenges in Port Infrastructure (as shortfall of TUG Boats, Shortage of Pilots, non-availability of proper CPA, AHM & Harbour Masters, forced to bear the delay of 15 to 20 days to unload essential commodities from Cargo Vessels, despite of online system at Dry Dock it takes more than three months to response from the authority, and out of order of weighbridge from past 350 days), Power crisis and high tariff in the A&N Islands, Tourism and Car Permit at Swaraj Dweep and Shaheed Dweep which require urgent up-gradation in a time bound manner for the development of the islands.

During the conference, Shri Prahladka also shared that a Joint Forum of 27 associations has been formed to address the problems faced by the industry. The main issues are electricity, water, and shipping services. The Director of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) parent organization is expected to visit Andaman and Nicobar to discuss the issues with the administration. Moreover, the Joint Forum is also scheduled to observe Trade Bandh from April 12, 2023 onwards, to draw the government’s attention towards the situation, if things are not taken care of in a time bound manner.

Vice President, Shipping Association, Shri P.K. Kaushik expressed concern about the shipping problems that Andaman and Nicobar are facing today. He pointed out that the A&N Islands’ lifeline is shipping and maximum depending upon shipping industries from the mainland, perhaps the port infrastructure we are using now is older than 25 years, but no up-gradation took place yet. Furthermore, the new order of cancelling the licence of ships of more than 25 years of service will affect the transportation of cargos in Andaman.

Vice President, Port Industries, Shri Syamal Choudhary said that, the govt’s work culture of 8 or 9 hours of working is required to be updated and should be required 24x7 availability in Port operations. 

Shri Girish Arora, Ex-President, ACCI has highlighted the tourism and fisheries sector, addressing the gathering he said that the power crisis and electricity tariff in Andaman is the highest in the world because of its own challenges. He further said, “Tourism and Fisheries are two sectors through which only the Islands economy could boost, for which we require skilled, technical and professional manpower to grab the opportunity on the other hand our islanders are at a lack of those expertise. For example, at our sea other fishermen are able to catch a good quantity of fishes but our islander fishermen always fail to compete with them, and are far from the success stories”, he observed. “had a meeting with various Fishermen Associations and training for them is also in the streamline, let see ....”, he said.

However, “we are getting positive responses from the present Administration here, but not everything in the control of Local Administration. To contribute our part in the development, we require proper infrastructure and approvals to look forward to. To promote the tourism and industries of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, ACCI, along with CII, will organize a road show in Delhi next month”, Shri Girish Arora added.


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