• Shipping Ministry rescinds 6 more obsolete rules

    The Shipping Ministry has notified the final rescinding of six rules under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.

    These rules are Merchant Shipping (Safety Convention Certificates) Rules,1975; Merchant Shipping (Radio Direction Finders) Rules, 1968; Merchant Shipping (Distress Messages and Navigational Warnings) Rules 1964; Merchant Shipping (Muster) Rules 1968; Merchant Shipping (Pilot Ladder) Rules 1967; Life-boatmen’s (Qualifications and Certificates) Rules 1963.

    Total 13
    Earlier, seven obsolete rules were rescinded through a notification on November 17, 2015. With the latest order, the Ministry has so far rescinded 13 rules under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.

    Many of the old rules have become redundant and are causing delay. The context, purpose and objectives of the rules and regulations were studied and 13 were found obsolete. It was decided to rescind them in keeping with the government’s motto of minimum government, maximum governance.

    The officials expressed the hope that the new step would simplify the legislative framework governing merchant shipping sector and streamline the processes and procedures.

    ‘Not much difference’
    However, shipping experts are of the view that the current move does not make any significant difference to the industry, but it should be supported so that DG Shipping will be encouraged to bring Indian maritime legislation up to international standards.

    There is need to strengthen the manpower at DG Shipping. The under-staffed agency, which is responsible for regulating the industry, is now more concerned with managing their workload, experts said, adding that recruitment of more surveyors would free up senior management to focus on regulations and modernisation.

    All maritime legislations such as Indian Ports Act, Major Port Trust Act and Merchant Shipping Act are outdated, they added. Bruce Bowen Jersey

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