Major Port Authorities Act 2021 provides regulation, operation and planning of Major Ports in India

An Act to provide for 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. It shall apply to the Major Ports of Chennai, Cochin, Deendayal (Kandla), Jawaharlal Nehru (Nhava Sheva), Kolkata, Mormugao, Mumbai, New Mangalore, Paradip, V.O. Chidambaranar (Tuticorin) and Visakhapatnam. This Act repealed The Major Port Trusts Act, 1963.

The Major Port Authorities Act, 2021

DATE: 15 MAR 2022

Law

The Major Port Authorities Act, 2021 provide for regulation, operation and planning of Major Ports in India and vests the administration, control and management of such ports upon the Boards of Major Port Authorities. The legislation empowers these ports to perform with greater efficiency on account of increased autonomy in decision making and by modernizing their institutional framework. [The Major Port Authority Bill, 2020 has been introduced in the Lok Sabha on 12.03.2020.]

The Ports in the country handle around 90% of EXIM Cargo by volume and 70% by value. In order to meet the ever increasing trade requirements, expansion of Port Capacity is accorded the highest priority. While increasing the capacity of the major ports, the Port Wing strives to improve the operational efficiencies through mechanization, digitization and process simplification. There are 12 major ports and 200 non-major ports (minor ports) in the country. While the Major Ports are under the administrative control of Ministry of Shipping, the non-major ports are under the jurisdiction of respective State Maritime Boards/ State Government. All the 12 Major ports are functional. Out of the 200 non-major ports, around 65 ports are handling cargo and the others are “Port Limits” where no cargo is handled and these are used by fishing vessels and by small ferries to carry passengers across the creeks etc.

These ports have been empowered to fix Scale of Rates for port services and assets.  PPP concessionaires are free to fix tariffs based on market conditions etc.  The compact Board with professional independent Members is capable of strengthening decision-making and strategic planning.

The total capacity of Major Ports and the amount of cargo handled prior to the commencement of the Act is given as under:

Year

Capacity

(in MTPA*)

Cargo Volume

(in Million Tonnes)

2018-19

1514.09

699.10

2019-20

1534.91

704.93

2020-21

1560.61

672.68

* million tonnes per annum

Connectivity is one of the critical enablers for ports as it is the end to end effectiveness of the logistics system that drives competitiveness for industry.  Sagarmala programme has a dedicated pillar of Port connectivity projects for enhancing connectivity between ports and domestic production / consumption centers.

There are 190 road and rail connectivity projects worth Rs. 1.22 lakh crore identified for implementation under Sagarmala focusing on connectivity of major and non-major ports.  Out of which, 50 projects have been completed and 140 projects are in various stages of development and implementation.  These projects are primarily being implemented by Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways (MoRTH), Major Port Authorities and other State agencies.

The Government has taken several initiatives towards Port modernization, mechanization and digitalization with emphasis on ease of doing business initiatives.  This includes the introduction of web-based e-forms, direct port delivery, container scanners, radio frequency identification based systems for gate automation, single window interface for facilitating trade and integration of more and more sea ports with the Port Community System software.

Further, as part of Maritime India Vision (MIV) 2030, globally benchmarked targets have been defined to help India develop best-in-class port infrastructure. Maritime India Vision 2030 (M IV 2030) has been prepared after extensive consultations with public and private sector stakeholders. 14 Thrust area groups across various maritime sectors were constituted at the start o f the exercise, to discuss and identify initiatives and targets that would be targeted as part o f Maritime India Vision 2030. The development of Indian Ports is estimated to drive cost savings to the tune of Rs. 6,000-7,000 Crore per annum for EXIM clients and help unlock Rs. 70,000 – 75,000 Crore worth of potential revenue. MIV 2030 targets 423 MTPA of capacity addition at Major Ports for the next 10 years. A total investment cost of over Rs. 33,400 Crore has been envisaged for this capacity expansion.  Out of this, approximately 95% capacity expansion is likely to be planned under Public Private Partnership (PPP) / Captive mode by Major Ports.


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