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Draft Indian Ports Bill, 2022

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    27th Aug, 2022

Context

The Draft Indian Ports Bill, 2022has been put for stakeholder consultation. The draft Indian Ports Bill, 2022 (“IP Bill 2022”) has been prepared to consolidate and amend the laws relating to ports.

Background

  • Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways issued the Draft Indian Ports Bill.The bill seeks to amend the Indian Ports Act, 1908.
    • The Indian Ports Act, 1908 (“Act”) is more than 110 years old.
    • It has become imperative that the Act is revamped to reflect the present-day frameworks, incorporate India’s international obligations, address emerging environmental concerns, and aid the consultative development of the ports sector in the national interest.

India has a 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways, and a strategic location on key international maritime trade routes. About 95% of India’s trade by volume and 65% by value is done through maritime transport facilitated by ports.

About

About the Draft Indian Ports Bill, 2022

  • The Bill will incorporate State Maritime Boards in the national framework.
  • Additionally, Maritime State Development Council will ensure cooperative federalism where the Centre and State/UT Governments will work together towards preparing a progressive road map for the country.
  • The redundant provisions of the Act have been deleted or replaced with contemporaneous provisions.
  • Existing penalties in the Act which are outdated have been updated concerning amounts and offenses relevant to the present-day scenario.
  • It aims to change port laws with respect for the
    • prevention and containment of pollution at ports
    • to ensure compliance with the country’s obligation under the maritime treaties and international instruments to which India is a party
    • take measures for conservation of ports
    • to empower and establish State Maritime Boards for effective administration, control, and management of non-major ports in India
    • provide for adjudicatory mechanisms for redressal of port-related disputes and to establish a national council for fostering structured growth and development of the port sector
      • to ensure optimum utilization of the coastline of India, as may be necessary
      • to provide for matters ancillary and incidental thereto, or connected therewith.

What are the key international obligations addressed under the bill?

The new Bill incorporates several international instruments to which India is a party, in the national legislation namely,

  • International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code 2004
  • International Convention for the prevention of pollution from ships (MARPOL) 1973
  • International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water and Sediments (Ballast Water Management Convention) 2004

Significance of the Draft Bill

  • This bill will help in instilling confidence among more players thereby increasing their participation and promoting healthy competition in the maritime sector.
  • This will lead to increased economic activity, wider markets, and a significant increase in associated employment possibilities.
  • It will help in achieving the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Status of Ports in India

  • India has 12 major and 205 notified minor and intermediate ports.
  • Under the National Perspective Plan for Sagarmala, six new mega ports will be developed in the country.
  • The Indian ports and shipping industry plays a vital role in sustaining growth in the country’s trade and commerce.
  • India is the sixteenth-largest maritime country in the world with a coastline of about 7,517 km. The Indian Government plays an important role in supporting the ports sector.
  • It has allowed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of up to 100% under the automatic route for port and harbor construction and maintenance projects.
  • It has also facilitated a 10-year tax holiday for enterprises that develop, maintain, and operate ports, inland waterways, and inland ports.

Greening of Ports

  • The government of India is committed to reducing the emissions from the shipping sector and promoting the development of net zero and low-emission solutions.
  • By 2030, all the Major Ports are to be made fully self-sustainable on electricity.
  • All the energy requirements of the port are to be met through renewable sources.
  • The initiative also includes Green Warehousing utilizing green/ natural solutions such as natural light or energy efficiency lighting, automated and compact storage systems, rooftop solar, using HVLS fans, and rainwater harvesting.

Way Forward

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