Ports In­dian

An un­fin­ished agenda

Cargo Talk - - Front Page - RATAn KR PAUl

The port and ship­ping sec­tor has wit­nessed sig­nif­i­cant growth dur­ing the last two decades, es­pe­cially in terms of traf­fic han­dled. This has pushed port fa­cil­i­ties to be utilised at max­i­mum level lead­ing to con­ges­tion. Though the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia, in as­so­ci­a­tion of pri­vate play­ers, has taken a num­ber of ini­tia­tives to build the re­quired ca­pac­ity, cer­tain pol­icy is­sues and low pace of im­ple­men­ta­tion of a set agenda are dis­suad­ing big ves­sels from call­ing on In­dian ports.

in 2012-13, the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia has awarded 32 port projects at an es­ti­mated cost of rs. 6765 crores to add ca­pac­ity of about 136 mil­lion tonne per An­num (MTPA). This fi­nan­cial year also the gov­ern­ment is tar­get­ing to award 30 projects to in­crease the ca­pac­ity by 282 MTPA at an in­vest­ment of around

25000 crore. It is per­ti­nent to men­tion that ap­prox­i­mately 95 per cent of the In­dia’s trade by vol­ume, and 70 per cent by value, is moved through mar­itime trans­port.

As a part of this over­all ef­fort, In­dia’s busiest port JnPT has drawn up a plan to in­crease its ca­pac­ity to han­dle pro­jected con­tainer traf­fic of 10 mil­lion TEUs by 2016-17. The port has re­cently awarded the project to ex­tend a con­tainer berth by 330 me­tres. JnPT has also re-in­vited the ten­der for the 4th Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal which is de­signed to add 4.8 mil­lion TEUs ca­pac­ity at an es­ti­mated cost of about 7000 crores. In the same man­ner, Mum­bai Port Trust is also im­ple­ment­ing ca­pac­ity aug­men­ta­tion projects.

With 13 ma­jor ports and more than 180 mi­nor ports, In­dia’s 7, 517 km long coast­line plays a vi­tal role in mar­itime trans­port along with of­fer­ing huge in­ter­na­tional trade ca­pa­bil­i­ties. The cur­rent port sce­nario in the coun­try of­fers a huge scope for ex­pan­sion of in­ter­na­tional mar­itime trans­port; both for pas­sen­gers and cargo han­dling. In­dia’s 12 big ports, which ac­count for about 58 per cent of the to­tal cargo shipped through the coun­try’s ports, han­dled 137 mil­lion tonnes (MT) of goods in the first quar­ter of FY14.

Con­tainer cargo vol­umes at th­ese 12 ports stood at 1.87 mil­lion stan­dard con­tain­ers.

It is fore­casted that by the end of 2017, port traf­fic will amount to 943.06 MT for In­dia’s ma­jor ports and 815.20 MT for its mi­nor ports. In­dia plans to triple car­go­han­dling ca­pac­ity at its ports to 3.2 bil­lion tonne by 2020 by in­vest­ing pri­vate funds worth 3 tril­lion (US$ 50.56 bil­lion).

To achieve the tar­get, the Cab­i­net Com­mit­tee on Eco­nomic Af­fairs (CCEA) has re­cently given its nod for set­ting up of new ma­jor ports in the states of West Ben­gal and Andhra Pradesh. The new ma­jor port at Sa­gar Is­land in West Ben­gal would be un­der Pub­lic Pri­vate Part­ner­ship (PPP) model.

“The gov­ern­ment is aware of the is­sues fac­ing the port and ship­ping sec­tor, and we have taken ini­tia­tives to sys­tem­at­i­cally iden­tify and an­a­lyse the var­i­ous is­sues, for­mu­late ap­pro­pri­ate so­lu­tions and take ac­tion to ad­dress the is­sues. In the port sec­tor, we have di­rected our ef­forts to in­crease ca­pac­ity and op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency pri­mar­ily through aug­men­ta­tion of ca­pac­ity, mech­a­ni­sa­tion and im­prov­ing the draft at the ports. The gov­ern­ment has been en­cour­ag­ing pri­vate part­ners to in­vest in th­ese ef­forts through the PPP model, which have been very suc­cess­ful,” said GK Vasan, Min­is­ter for Ship­ping, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia.

re­cently, the Ship­ping Min­istry came out with new guide­lines for de­ter­mi­na­tion of tar­iff for projects and ma­jor ports in the coun­try. The new guide­lines are aimed to pave way for in­creased in­vest­ment flows into the port sec­tor. The new norms also set out per­for­mance stan­dards for port projects to im­prove ac­count­abil­ity and en­sure im­proved qual­ity of ser­vice.

Un­der the new guide­lines, the high­est tar­iff for a com­mod­ity at a ma­jor port fixed un­der 2008 tar­iff guide­lines, in­dexed to 60 per cent of WPI would be­come the ref­er­ence Tar­iff on which the bid­ding would take place. The pri­vate op­er­a­tor un­der the new guide­lines has the free­dom to charge any amount up to a ceil­ing of 15 per cent over and above the ap­pli­ca­ble in­dexed ref­er­ence Tar­iff for that fi­nan­cial year pro­vided the op­er­a­tor has achieved the min­i­mum per­for­mance stan­dards as com­mit­ted by him in the Con­ces­sion Agree­ment.

GK Vasan, Union Cab­i­net Min­is­ter of Ship­ping, along with Milind De­ora, Min­is­ter of State, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, IT and Ship­ping and other dig­ni­taries is inau­gu­rat­ing the 25th Year Celebration of JnPT

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