Chennai (Agencies): The Government on Friday said that it is mulling over a new policy to promote coastal shipping in the country.

"We have also brought out a new land policy and a policy to prevent monopoly in ports. The Ministry is also working on a new policy to promote coastal shipping," Shipping Minister G K Vasan said after inaugurating the Conclave on Shipping and Ports, organised by CII here.

"We have formulated a package to promote Indian ship building, which will be taken to Cabinet very soon," he said.

On future plans, he said the Ministry has set a target of increasing the port capacity four-fold to 3,200 million tonnes in the next 10 years.

"We have released the Maritime Agenda, 2020 which is a vision document for the next 10 years. We have set some important goals...It includes, increasing port capacity to around 3,200 million tonnes which will require an investment of about Rs 3 lakh crore," he said.

Stating that the Port and Shipping sector witnessed an unprecedented growth of 23.8 per cent on its exports from 2004-05 to 2008-09, he said in 2009-2010 it was not the same due to the impact of global recession.

The Minister also said the government would address the issues pertinent to the shipping industry and was "open" to new ideas and suggestions to further strengthen the partnership with the private sector to realise the true potential of the maritime sector.

He said for developing the Colachel Port in Kanyakumari, the Shipping Ministry would provide all support. "The Colachel Port has its own natural beauty...for developing it, the Shipping Ministry would provide all its support," he said.

Meanwhile, in the national capital a Shipping Ministry official said in order to ease India's marine traffic, the Ministry is mulling setting up a new port in Andhra Pradesh, and is awaiting the state government's response regarding the same.