India is looking at a USD 250 billion maritime economy by 2024, which the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has the responsibility to safeguard, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar said. India’s exclusive economic zone in the seas along its 7,500-kilometre coastline comprises over 2 million square kilometres, he said.
“With a target of becoming a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024, we are looking at over USD 250 billion coming from the maritime zone. “It is this USD 250 billion economy that the ICG has the responsibility to protect and safeguard,” Kumar said after commissioning coast guard ships ‘ICGS Amrit Kaur’ and ‘ICGS Annie Besant’ which will be deployed along the eastern coast. The maritime economy constitutes nearly five per cent of the world economy, he said. With the depletion of land resources, economic activities are increasingly getting focussed on the oceans, Kumar said.
Describing the coast guard as the sentinels of the country’s seas, the Defence secretary said it is reassuring to witness the force’s growing strength. Commissioning the two ICG fast patrol vessels designed and manufactured by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) here, Kumar said India is increasingly becoming self-reliant in the science of shipbuilding.