The Merchant Shipping Bill 2016 has been approved by the Indian Cabinet following much deliberation, according to local news sources.
The bill has been put together to create easier and more efficient laws governing the shipping industry in India, it is also removing some unreasonably restrictive laws.
One of the most significant differences that will come into effect now is the expansion of Indian tonnage promotion/development of coastal shipping in India, allowing substantially-owned vessels
Also vessels on Bare Boat-cum-Demise (BBCD) charter by Indians are to now officially be registered as India-flagged vessels.
The new Merchant Shipping Bill 2016 passed through Parliament alongside the request to repeal the Coasting Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 and the Coasting Vessels Act, 1838, the latter of which is an act not amended since the British rule.