New Delhi: In line with the Government’s emphasis on simplifying procedures to promote “ease of doing business”, the Shipping Ministry has decided to weed out thirteen archaic rules under Merchant Shipping Act. This in turn will declutter the legislative framework governing merchant shipping sector in India and streamline the processes and procedures in the shipping sector.

“The Ministry of Shipping has decided to rescind thirteen rules under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (as amended), having found them to be obsolete and unnecessary,” an official statement said. The rules to be rescinded include Merchant Shipping (Distressed Seamen) Rules, 1960; Certificate of Service Rules, 1970; Rates Rules 1970 and Radio Rules, 1983.

Besides, Examination of Masters and Mates Rules, 1968; Examination of Engineer Officers in the Merchant Navy Rules, 1989 and Certificate of Competency Rules, 1989 would also be done away with. “Thirteen separate notifications for rescinding the above rules have been sent for publication in the Gazette of India Extraordinary. The Prime Minister had also stressed on the need to identify and do away with such archaic rules and procedures”, the statement said.

In line with this intention, the Ministry of Shipping had set up committees to identify obsolete rules and regulations with a view to achieve process simplification, it added. Based on the committee’s recommendations, the Ministry has decided to weed out these rules. This will also promote ‘ease of doing business’ in India.

The Ministry has however sought comments/objections on remaining six rules – Safety Convention Certificates Rules, 1975; Radio Direction Finders Rules 1968; Distress Messages and Navigational Warnings Rules, 1964; Muster Rules, 1968; Pilot Ladder Rules, 1967 and Life boatmen’s (Qualifications and Certificates) Rules 1963, within a month.

Earlier, Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari had said that weeding out obsolete rules was necessary to promote shipping sector.

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