The Cabinet today approved a new Merchant Shipping Bill by repealing the 58-year old law, a move that will promote ease of doing business, transparency and effective delivery of services. "The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016 for introducing it in Parliament," an official statement said. The Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016, is a revamped version of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958. It provides for repealing of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958, as well as the Coasting Vessels Act, 1838, it added.
The Merchant Shipping Act, 1958, had become a bulky piece of legislation over the years as a result of various amendments carried out in the Act from time to time. It was amended 17 times between 1966 and 2014, resulting in an increase in the number of sections to over 560. These provisions have been meticulously shortened to 280 sections in the Bill, the statement said.