Rupee incentive

India is planning to offer low-cost loans to encourage owners to buy vessels.

The government could raise overseas-currency facilities backed by long-term charters between domestic owners and state utilities, according to a shipping ministry official cited by the Hindu Business Line.

This could cut interest rates to around 3% or 4%, against rupee loans which carry a coupon of more than 10%.

The ministry wants three to five-year contracts, bid for competitively, in order to limit exposure to spot fluctuations.

The move would also stop cash going to foreign shipowners.