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Bill to convert Major Port Trusts into Port authorities gets RS nod

P Manoj Mumbai | Updated on February 10, 2021

The new law will clear the decks for market pricing of services rendered by the government-owned port authorities and public private partnership operators   -  The Hindu

Biggest structural reform of major ports

The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed a Bill that seeks to convert 11 of the 12 ports run by the Centre into “authorities” from the current “trustee” set-up, in the biggest structural reform of state-owned ports ever attempted by any government.

The Major Port Authorities Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha last year.

The new law will clear the decks for market pricing of services rendered by the government-owned port authorities as well as public private partnership (PPP) operators at these so-called major ports to help them compete with private ports that are free to set their own rates. Currently, the rates for services provided by the port trusts and the PPP operators are set by the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP)

Chennai Port Trust, Cochin Port Trust, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (near Mumbai), Deendayal Port Trust (Kandla), Kolkata Port Trust, Mumbai Port Trust, New Mangalore Port Trust, Mormugao Port Trust, Paradip Port Trust, V.0.Chidambaranar Port Trust (Thoothukudi) and Visakhapatnam Port Trust will be brought under a new law.

Currently, these 11 ports function as trusts under a law framed more than five decades ago called the Major Port Trusts Act 1963. Kamarajar Port Ltd, located at Ennore, Chennai, formed as a company under Companies Act 1956, during 2001, is the only exception in this regard.

The new Bill, when signed into law, seeks to grant greater autonomy and flexibility to the major ports and to professionalise their governance for speedier decision-making and help them compete with private ports.

Published on February 10, 2021

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