Showing serious concern over the rising number of piracy attempts along Indian shores, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday assured seafarers of more stringent measures.
Singh said at a golden jubilee function of the Indian Shipping Corporation (SCI) that any industry can thrive only in an atmosphere of safety and security.
“Incidents of piracy and armed robbery on ships are a cause of concern to all of us and to the shipping industry in particular. Instances of pirate attacks in the Arabian Sea and more recently in the Indian Ocean, much beyond the piracy infested areas of Gulf of Aden, pose a serious threat to us by putting at risk a large number of Indian seafarers and ships,” he said.
The PM assured that the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and shipping companies will put up a concerted effort in close coordination with international agencies to deal with the menace.
Singh made the remark after Union minister for shipping GK Vasan observed that in view of the rise in incidents of piracy, his ministry has issued guidelines for engaging armed guards from private security agencies onboard Indian-flagged ships.
Singh said, “India’s maritime sector is of vital significance to our economy and every effort should be made to strengthen it.”
Over 100 pirates have been caught and are awaiting trial in India following a series of run-ins with the navy this year.