The government said on Monday that it has set up a committee to re-look at some of the policies directly affecting the functioning of major ports to minimise the impact of the global economic slowdown on port sector.
"Some major ports including Visakhapatnam Port have been affected by the economic recession. The growth rate of traffic handled by major ports has come down to 2.13 per cent during 2008-09 as compared to 11.97 per cent during 2007-08 against previous year," Shipping Minister GK Vasan told Lok Sabha in reply to a written query.
Economic recession is one of the reasons for such decline of traffic at major ports, he said adding, the iron ore traffic which is mainly for export, recorded only 2.3 per cent growth in 2008-09 as compared to 14.2 per cent in 2007-08.
While cargo growth in crude and petroleum was modest at 3.3 per cent in 2008-09 compared to 10 per cent in the same period last year, container traffic showed a marginal growth of 0.9 per cent in 2008-09 compared with a robust increase of 25.6 per cent in 2007-08, he added.
He said various steps are being taken, which includes re-looking at some of the policies and augmentation of infrastructure facilities.