Time­lines set for SEZ de­vel­op­ment

In­dia oc­cu­pies the 134th spot out of 189 coun­tries on the World Bank’s ‘ease of do­ing business’ list. Only 192 SEZs out of the 389 no­ti­fied in the coun­try are op­er­a­tional.

Cargo Talk - - Cargo News - CT BUREAU

As part of the am­bi­tious plan to dou­ble the cargo han­dling ca­pac­ity of ma­jor ports from the ex­ist­ing 800 mil­lion tonnes (mt) to 1,600 mt in the next five years,

Nitin Gad­kari, Union Shipping Min­is­ter has pro­posed a set­ting up of a new company, with an ini­tial au­tho­rised cap­i­tal of ` 100 crore.

It would have eq­uity par­tic­i­pa­tion from all the 12 ma­jor ports and would im­ple­ment all new rail projects, be­sides run­ning the ex­ist­ing rail line op­er­a­tions within the port area.

Gad­kari re­vealed the plan dur­ing his re­view meet­ing ear­lier this week with the heads of the gov­ern­ment-owned ports.

At present, rail projects are im­ple­mented by spe­cific ports through spe­cial pur­pose ve­hi­cles, with Rail Vikas Nigam pro­vid­ing the req­ui­site support. Mumbai port Trust and Kolkata Port Trust op­er­ate their own rail­ways within the port ar­eas.

As part of its ini­tia­tive to fast­track port con­nec­tiv­ity, the Shipping Min­istry pro­poses to in­cor­po­rate a new company to un­der­take rail projects at all Gov­ern­ment ports.

Gad­kari dis­cussed the Min­istry’s pro­posal with head of gov­ern­ment ports at a meet­ing in Mumbai. The pro­posed company will have an ini­tial au­tho­rised cap­i­tal of ` 100 crore.

Gad­kari, who re­viewed the Ma­jor Ports’ per­for­mance, (his first such ex­er­cise after tak­ing over as Shipping Min­is­ter) has asked chair­man of ports to en­sure timely im­ple­men­ta­tion of projects. He as­sured them the free­dom to take in­de­pen­dent de­ci­sions within the pow­ers un­der the Ma­jor Ports Act.

How­ever, he is said to have given a clear mes­sage that in his scheme of things there will be no place for non-per­form­ers.

The Min­is­ter wants the port cargo ca­pac­ity in the coun­try to be dou­bled in the next five years from 800 mil­lion tonnes to 1,600 mil­lion tonnes.

The ca­pac­ity cre­ation at ma­jor ports has been tardy at Ma­jor Ports in the past few years due to a va­ri­ety of rea­sons, but which hope­fully will be cor­rected soon.

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