Cabinet to consider port corporatisation

Cabinet to consider port corporatisation
Highlights

Cabinet to consider port corporatisation. Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said the Centre is targeting a net profit of Rs 2,500 crore from its 12 major ports in the next two years, while shipping and waterways would contribute at least 1 per cent to the country\'s GDP by March 2016.

Targets 2,500-cr profit from ports in the next 2 years

New Delhi: Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said the Centre is targeting a net profit of Rs 2,500 crore from its 12 major ports in the next two years, while shipping and waterways would contribute at least 1 per cent to the country's GDP by March 2016.

The Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Gadkari said the government is going ahead with the port modernisation programme and his Ministry will seek Cabinet nod on the same as it tries to tackle the opposition by trade unions to corporatisation plan for ports. Gadkari also said that major ports will add 100 million tonnes capacity by 2018 and have plans to spend about Rs 15,000 crore per annum.

"We have already received a report from expert committee by which we can change the existing law to implement modernisation of ports, increase their efficiency and to make our decision making process fast. We will give more power to port chairman and board and by which I feel that we will achieve the goal of corporatisation," Gadkari said.

He said the report is ready with the Ministry and "We are going to submit it to the Cabinet. After approval we will implement. Corporatisation is not ruled out (and) it is to be declared by the Finance Minister. It is on the agenda." He said there is a stiff resistance from trade unions and some political parties so the government is amending the Major Ports Act but it would be ensured that the interest of workers is not compromised.

"The country's 12 major ports will add at least Rs 1,000 crore to their net profit in the next two years and add 100 million tonnes of capacity," the Minister said. He said steps were under way to reduce the turnaround time for ships to two days from an average of four days to enhance efficiency and all ports have been directed to implement plans matching with best international ports.

He said efforts are on to deepening the draft at ports to 20 metres so that big ships of over 2 lakh tonnes could come and accordingly Goa Port has floated tenders for deepening the draft to 18 metres on PPP model.

Gadkari said his Ministry has set up a Railway Port Connectivity Corporation, which has already received 24 projects worth Rs 4,000 crore and work is likely to begin on the same by December. India has 12 major ports - Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Managlore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, VO Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia)- which handle approximately 61 per cent of cargo traffic.

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