Our Bureau

Mumbai, June 3

PORT and dock workers in the country have threatened to launch a nationwide agitation if the Government did not desist from privatisation of major ports. To start with, the different federations of port and dock workers will be holding anti-privatisation demonstrations in front of the headquarters of all major ports on June 14.

The federations met here in the last two days to discuss the implications of the Government's decision to privatise major ports.

Mr S.R. Kulkarni, President of the All-India Port and Dock Workers' Federation, said privatisation of the major ports will not only be detrimental to the interests of the workers, but will also be against the larger interests of the nation.

"The Government has not given careful consideration to the security concerns of the country while making announcements to privatise the ports. We have noted the Government's contention that the internal resources of the 12 major ports are hardly Rs 5,000 crore and the investment required will be of the order of Rs 50,000 crore. The internal resources are inadequate because of the low port charges, which are hardly two per cent of the value of cargoes passing through the ports," he said in a statement on Friday.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 4, 2005)
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