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.
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.