India: Parliament passes two bills on shipping industry, ship workers

The Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Bill, 2013 and the Merchant Shipping (Second) Amendment, Bill 2013, which were passed by India’s upper parliament, the Rajya Sabha, have been cleared by lower house, the Lok Sabha.

India’s Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, speaking on the bills, said they were in the interest of the country, workers and the shipping industry and their provisions were in line with the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Bill seeks to add new provisions to the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 to comply with the International Convention for the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships, 2001.

Anti-fouling paints are applied to the bottom of the ships to protect them from erosion from sea water and rusting.

The Merchant Shipping (Second Amendment) Bill proposes to amend the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958, to bring it in conformity with the ILO’s Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, which lays down the standards for the living and working conditions of seafarers, including their food, accommodation, medical care, social security, and recruitment. 

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