‘Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020’
Polity & Governance
16th Feb, 2021
In a latest development, Rajya Sabha passed the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020.The Lok Sabha had passed the bill on September 23, 2020, by voice vote.
- Major ports in India
- State-run ports in the country, termed ‘major ports’.
- In terms of volume, 70 per cent of cargo movement is through ports while 90 per cent in value terms.
- India has 12 major ports — Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia).
- These together had handled 705 million tonnes (MT) of cargo in 2019-20.
Key-highlights of the Bill
- The Bill aims to provide for the regulation, operation and planning of Major Ports in India and to vest the administration, control and management of such ports upon the Boards of Major Port Authorities and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
- The new law will supersede the major Port Trusts Act, 1963 governing the country’s 12 major ports.
- The bill seeks to convert 11 of the 12 ports (except Kamarajar Port Ltd, located at Ennore, Chennai) run by the Centre into “authorities” from the current “trustee” set-up, in a biggest structural reform of state-owned ports ever attempted by any government.
- Application: The Bill will apply to the major ports situated in Chennai, Cochin, Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Kandla, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Paradip, V.O. Chidambaranar, and Vishakhapatnam.
- Governance: It will be curtains down for the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP); every port will now be governed by a Port Authority (board) which will have the powers to fix reference tariffs for various port services.
- The role of Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) has been redefined in the bill. The port authority has now been given powers to fix tariffs which will act as a reference tariff for purposes of bidding for PPP projects.
- PPP operators will be free to fix tariffs based on market conditions.
Boards to replace trusts
- Under the 1963 Act, all major ports are managed by the respective Board of Port Trusts that have members appointed by the central government.
- The Bill provides for the creation of a Board of Major Port Authority for each major port.
- These Boards will replace the existing Port Trusts, a not-for-profit group involved in legislative research.