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Odisha's Dhamra, Gopalpur ports to face financial and operations audit


The Odisha government has set the ball rolling for the financial and operational audit of the Dhamra and Gopalpur ports. Dhamra, a deep draught port off the coast of northern Odisha, is owned by Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), while Shapoorji Pallonji has a majority stake in the Gopalpur port, which is located on the southern Odisha coast.

The state commerce & transport department has invited tenders from chartered accountants empanelled with the Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) of India to conduct the audit.

The objective of the audit is to ensure the accuracy of the income earned by the port promoters from their operations. A portion of this revenue goes to the state government as its share according to the terms of the concession agreement signed with the port authorities. 

The audit is also meant to check the compliance with the approved and agreed plans for development and maintenance of the port facilities and assets.

The successful bidder would enter into a contract with the Director of Ports & Inland Water Transport, Odisha. The contract would be valid until June 30, 2019. The contract period includes completion of the audit, including drafting, printing, and submission of the report in full shape.

The scope of work is financial and operational audit — hundred per cent monitoring of receipts and vouchers, all subsidiary registers, general ledgers, and all relevant records and documents. The exercise would also cover the audit of lease charges paid by the port authorities towards tenanted land acquired for development of the port according to the concession agreement along with amount being adjusted from revenue share payable by the company to the government.

Dhamra port commenced commercial operations in May 2011. It achieved break even from operations in the last financial year with a profit of Rs 180 crore. The port's total earnings in 2016-17 were upwards of Rs 900 crore. A concession agreement signed with Dhamra Port Company Ltd (DPCL), a fully owned subsidiary of APSEZ and the special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed for port operations, says the state government is entitled to eight per cent of revenue share after the port completes five years of commercial operations. Accordingly, the state government received Rs 75 crore as revenue share in the last financial year from the Dhamra port.

For developing Gopalpur from a fair-weather port to an all-weather, direct berthing, and deep water port, the state commerce & transport department has entered into a concession agreement with Gopalpur Ports Ltd (GPL). GPL, a consortium formed to upgrade the Gopalpur port, was originally promoted by home-grown Orissa Stevedores Ltd, Hong-Kong based Noble Group, and Delhi-based metals trading firm Sara International. The port's ownership structure has witnessed a change of hands. Noble Group exited the consortium in 2010. More recently, Shapoorji Pallonji Group has joined GPL to acquire at least 51 per cent stake — its equity can go up to 60 per cent.

Source: Business Standard 

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