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Indian government has a federal structure, and according to its constitution, maritime transport is to be administered by both the Central and the State governments. While the central government's shipping ministry administers the major ports, the minor and intermediate ports are administered by the relevant departments or ministries in the nine coastal states Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Several of these 187 minor and intermediate ports have been identified by the respective governments to be developed, in a phased manner, a good proportion of them involving public–private partnership.
Major ports are handled over 74% of all cargo traffic in 2007. All major ports, except one Ennore Port are government administered, but private sector participation in ports has increased. There are also 7 shipyards under the control of the central government of India, 2 shipyards controlled by state governments, and 19 privately owned shipyards.