The Mumbai branch of the Institute of Marine Engineers India and the Company Of Master Mariners of India held a seminar on "Business Integrity and Anti-Corruption-Imperatives and Way Forward in the Maritime Industry" on 17th June 2022.
The United Nations (UN) estimates that corruption can add 10% or more to the cost of doing business internationally. The Seminar was conducted with the objective of apprising the industry stakeholders about the Corruption & related practices in the maritime sector, how to deal with them and the working of Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN).
Capt. K.V. Pradhan, Deputy Master, CMMI, welcoming the attendees expressed his gratitude to Mr. Vijay Arora, Managing Director, Indian Register of Shipping and Mr. V. K. Jain, President, IME(I) for sparing their time to attend he seminar. He revealed that everyone, from ship’s Captain to Owner were aware of corruption being the primary problem and were keen that th problem was dealt with aptly. Further, he emphasized the fact that MACN has been in place to raise consciousness of the challenges that are being faced in implementing anti-corruption principles; sharing best practices; and requiring training tools for various seafarers.
He then he invited Mr. S. M. Rai, Senior fellow of IMEI to take over as moderator and continue with the event.
Mr. Rai stated that it was a known fact that corruption is widely prevalent in the society but the role of MACN and measures to be taken to curb the same would be interesting to hear from the speakers. He declared, “We are privileged to have Mr. Deepak Shetty, who retired in the highest rank of Secretary to the govt of India and served our sector, as Director general of Shipping to be the key note speaker for the day. He is the Senior adviser (India) to the MACN , Copenhagen.” The other speakers at the event were Capt. M.P. Bhasin, Chairman of Maritime Association of Shipowners Shipmanagers and Agents (MASSA); Mr. Anil Devli, CEO of the Indian National Shipowners Association and Dr. Sanjay Bhavnani, Director and CEO of MMS Maritime India Pvt. Ltd.
Mr. Rai then urged Mr. Deepak Shetty to share his views on the MACN and about corruption in Maritime Industry.
Mr. Deepak Shetty declared that the industry was familiar with the United Nations special development goals. He revealed that were 17 goals and about 162 targets under them cumulatively. But, he said, if we zero down on goal number 16 and get down specifically to target 16.5, it will find that it emphasizes that creating a welfare-oriented society across the globe is crucial, and that is the advocacy of no less than the United Nations, which has 193 member nations around the world.
Speaking of MACN’s new initiative - GPIP (Global port integrity program), Mr. Deepak Shetty confirmed that a risk analysis of all the incidents arising out of reports coming in from masters and crew are taken into consideration by MACN. MACN have applied risk management tools and arrived at a matrix in terms of which 1189 ports globally in as many as 149 maritime nations have been ranked inter se in terms of an integrity index.
Mr. Anil Devli, CEO, INSA disclosed that the objective of the commencement of MACN, which started a few years back, was for us to mutually get together and fight corruption. Corruption is not necessarily only maritime corruption, but corruption in everything that we do. He had a strong belief that if we decide to prevent being corrupt in any activity; It would be very comfortable to be able to push that same philosophy in our industry and the jobs that we do. He also assured that INSA is working to confront all the concerns associated with corruption and agreed to the suggestions that matter be taken up at the National Shipping Board level.
Capt. M.P. Bhasin, the next speaker, taking the mike asked , “How many of attendees knew about MACN before being a part of the seminar? He believed that awareness was the main tool. For this we need such kind of seminar or webinar on a much larger scale, across all parts of India, he felt.
He believed that there was also a need for confidence building across the Maritime spectrum by MACN by sharing case studies and/or some data of their success at various countries/ports. He averred that MACN is growing into a world-wide Maritime anti-corruption organisation. He said there is full support to MACN from MASSA as Many of MASSA member lines are already member of MACN. Anti-corruption work needs to be seen by shipping companies, seafarers, port workers, government officials, donors, and members of the public in every place that we are working. So, for MACN to have a presence in all maritime sectors, I would also like to state that CMMI and IMEI jointly doing this seminar is a very good initiative”.
Dr. Sanjay Bhavnani gave a power point presentation on corruption in Maritime Industry. He stated that all in the industry were aware that the shipping industry has been prone to widespread corruption over the years. Due to its isolated nature, it faces more corruption disputes than most other industries. He particularly highlighted the sailing staff and the trauma and embarrassment they face onboard while facing many corrupt practices and demands. He however was very positive that if handled well these practices can be corrected with the role and help of MACN.
Thereafter Mr Rai & Mr Sanjeev Mehra (Secretary, IME Mumbai Branch) took on a Q&A session wherein the questions from audience and on hybrid mode were addressed by the respective speakers of the event. Mr. V. K. Jain, President of the Institute of marine Engineers(I) proposed a vote of thanks .