Mumbai: After some hedging, state-owned Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) has more than halved its fleet expansion plan for the current fiscal and said it would proceed with only those acquisitions where it is confident of gains. It will now place orders for only ten out of the 26 vessels it planned to acquire by the current fiscal-end.
The SCI is India's biggest shipping company.
Meanwhile, in the backdrop of some disturbing revelations emerging from leaked ministry of shipping documents that the company may be headed in the direction of another state-owned entity, the financially beleaguered, Air India, shipping ministry officials have affirmed that the shipper was financially sound and did not need a bail out.
A leaked internal ministry document raised concerns over the company's financial health and debt raising capacity.
Under the 11th Five Year Plan, the company was scheduled to place orders for close to 62 vessels. Till the last fiscal, the company had placed orders for 36 vessels and was due to place orders for 26 vessels in the current fiscal, which is the also the last year of the 11th Plan.
While the company was expressing confidence less than a month back that it would go ahead and place orders for the remaining 26 vessels this year, the position has now changed rapidly with orders being cut to less than half.