Logistics

Tariff regulation for major ports to go

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 13, 2011 Published on January 13, 2011

Ministry mulls common regulator for all ports



The Shipping Ministry has proposed that the ports that come under the Centre — major ports — should be free to decide their user charges based on market conditions.

At present, the port regulator — Tariff Authority of Major Ports (TAMP) — decides the user charge or tariff ceiling for major ports. But, ports under the State Government — non-major ports — are free to decide on their charges.

The proposal is part of the Maritime Agenda 2010-2020 unveiled by the Shipping Minister, Mr G.K. Vasan. While a timeline for the proposal was not given, Mr Vasan said that he would like the major and non-major ports to have a “level playing field” indicating the Government's view on the issue. A senior Ministry official stated that the proposal, as and when it is introduced, will be implemented with prospective effect.

Though the tariff regulations will be done away with, the Ministry proposes to create a common regulator for all ports, which will set up, monitor and regulate service levels, technical and performance standards.

PORT CAPACITY

The Shipping Ministry wants to increase ports capacity to 3,280 million tonne per annum (MTPA) by 2020 from a little below 1,000 MTPA, with the private sector funding most of it. The investment on current reckoning is around Rs 2,87,000 crore. Soon, the Ministry intends to come up with shorter term targets but refused to specify what these would be.

The Government projects that by 2020, almost half of the proposed port capacity will be created by the non-major ports (1670.5 mtpa) and another half by major ports (1605.53 mt). As on March 2010, the major ports accounted for about 65 per cent of the total capacity of 953 MTPA, while non-major ports accounted for 36 per cent. These details are according to the Maritime Agenda 2010-2010 released by the Shipping Ministry here today. The agenda is a 450-page document with specific proposals that the Ministry would take up over the next ten years.

Hub ports

The Ministry also proposes to develop four hub ports — two each on the West and East coast. The hub ports will be Mumbai (JNPT), Kochi, Chennai and Visakhapatnam.

Corporatisation of major ports, new land policy, dredging policy is some of the other proposals.

SHIPBUILDING SUBSIDY

The Ministry proposes to increase India's share in global shipbuilding to five per cent from the current levels of one per cent and promote use of inland waterways for cargo development.

To achieve this, in specific terms, the Ministry proposes to introduce a new shipbuilding subsidy, grant infrastructure subsidy to shipbuilding industry and providing preference for Indian shipyards in procurement of ships by Government through global tenders.

Since these proposals require approval of the Finance Ministry, Mr K. Mohandas, Secretary, Shipping, declined to comment on any specific timeline by when these policies can be in place.

mamuni@thehindu.co.in

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Published on January 13, 2011
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