Logistics

New regulatory authority to replace major ports' tariff body

N.K. Kurup Mumbai | Updated on March 23, 2011 Published on March 23, 2011




The new regulatory structure proposed for the port sector envisages one regulator for the major ports and State regulators for the ports under the jurisdiction of State Governments.

The proposed Major Ports Regulatory Authority will replace the existing Tariff Authority for Major Ports or TAMPS, according to the draft Port Regulatory Bill posted on Wednesday on the Shipping Ministry's Web site.

Maritime States

All maritime States are expected to set up separate port regulatory authorities. Maritime States include Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and West Bengal.

If a State Government fails to set up the regulatory, authority, ports under that State will come under the Major Ports Regulator.

“The Major Ports Regulatory Authority shall exercise its jurisdiction over the ports under the control of States Government also, till such time the respective States constitute a separate regulatory authority,” the draft Bill stated.

Guidelines

Both the Central and the State-level regulatory authorities will have three members each including the chairman.

The regulator will formulate tariff guidelines which is now being done by TAMP.

It will also issue guidelines on deciding various other charges for facilities and services provided by port terminals including those run by private operators.

The authority will also issue norms for transhipment of containers, or goods between vessels, and use of property belonging to the ports or the private terminal operators.

Though the State regulators will have the freedom to prescribe the rates, they will have to follow the common guidelines issued by the Major Ports Regulatory Authority.

“The Major Ports Regulatory Authority shall specify the common principles, approach and methodology to be adopted by the State ports authorities in their tariff guidelines and while prescribing standards, the draft Bill said.

Performance norms

The authority will also frame performance norms and standards of quality, continuity and reliability of service.

The regulator will have the power to take action against port operators (including imposition of fines) for violations of regulations. The Bill also provides for creation of an Appellate Tribunal to adjudicate disputes between service providers and users or between port operators.

With the setting up of the Major Ports Regulatory Authority, TAMP will cease to exit. All employees of TAMP will come under the new Authority.

The Shipping Ministry has sought the views of stakeholders in the port sector on the proposal which will have to be furnished before April 7.

The Bill is expected remove the dichotomy existing in the port sector, said a port user.

Currently, the tariff norms being followed by major ports are different from those applicable to ports under the State Governments, he said.



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Published on March 23, 2011
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