A bill to overhaul the management of the major ports of India and ensure fair conditions across all the country’s ports has not yet been passed, despite being pending since 2016.
The Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016 aims to improve the efficiency of India’s 12 major ports by enabling decision-making autonomy, but India’s lower house of parliament did not pass it during its recently concluded monsoon session, reported The Diplomat. This is despite the fact the draft bill was approved in July.
Major ports are currently governed by the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963, which involves central-government appointed trustees subject to orders from the Ministry of Shipping, plus tariff regulations. However, over 200 private minor and intermediate ports are administrated by state governments, meaning they do not follow the same tariff regulations and so can better benefit from any business they do and see more growth than bigger ports.
According to data from the World Bank that indexes the performance of ports in South Asia, India’s Mundra and Pipavav ports are among the highest performers, ranked at 4th and 3rd respectively, while the bigger ports of Chennai, New Mangalore, and Kolkata lag far behind, stated The Diplomat.
Reforms in the 2016 bill include replacing the old Board of Trustees with a Board of Port Authority with greater autonomy; opening membership in the board to independent and port employee representatives, to allow for faster and more transparent decision-making.
The bill would also allow the Board, and any committees it appoints, to determine tariff rates. Powers would extend to tariff rates for port services, access and use of port assets, and determining rates for different types of goods and vessels at the port.
This month, the movement of ex-im containers has been severely impacted at JN Port as an order issued by the new DCP (Traffic) Navi Mumbai on 9 August has stopped traffic at the port for a few hours every day.
Source: Port StrategyPrevious Next
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