Gadkari assures against retrenchment of port workers in process of corporatisation

V. Sajeev Kumar | | Updated on: Dec 06, 2021

Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari has categorically said there will not be any privatisation or retrenchment of workers in the port sector upon corporatisation of major ports.

An assurance in this regard was given by him during discussions with representatives of five major labour federations of port and dock workers in Mumbai in the wake of the strike notice issued against the corporatisation move.

According to him, there will be no change in the terms and conditions of the current employees and their service conditions and benefits would be fully protected.

Highlighting the dwindling share of cargo traffic in major ports from around 90 per cent in the 90’s to 57 per cent in the current year, the Minister said it was imperative to modernise and improve the functioning of ports to remain in the reckoning in today’s competitive world. Corporatisation of major ports would in fact lead to more opportunities, he added.  

Given the limitations of the Trust model to respond to the market challenges, Gadkari said the Government has proposed corporatisation so that the ports can modernise quickly, attract investments, and attain international standards in terms of operational efficiency.

Explaining the constraints imposed by the provisions of the Major Port Trust Act on the functioning of major ports, he cited the inability of the port trusts to raise financial resources from the market and the need to take government approval under various provisions of the MPT Act, 1963.

The Government, according to the Minister, has taken several initiatives to improve flexibility and expedite decision-making in major port trusts. This included delegation of enhanced powers to all major ports trusts, including the power to sanction projects up to ₹200 crore, and new guidelines to TAMP which will empower Port Trusts to fix tariff subject to an overall annual revenue requirement ceiling.

Published on March 12, 2015
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