Major Indian ports show 6.8% growth in cargo handled during 2016-17
The Dollar Business Bureau
According to information released by the Ministry of Shipping, the government-managed ports have outperformed the private ones with respect to growth in the volume of cargo handled during FY 2016-17. While the private ports registered a growth rate of 4%, the public ports grew by 6.79% annually, as against 4.32% in the previous year. Collectively, the twelve ports managed by the Ministry of Shipping handled 647.43 MT (million tonnes) of traffic during the year.
Individually, Kandla Port handled 105.44 Million Tonnes of cargo, securing the position of the largest volume handler and growing at 5.39%. Paradip Port stood second with 88.95 Million Tonnes of volume, registering a high growth rate of 16.45%. Growing at 3.17%, the Mumbai port bagged the third place with 63.05 Million Tonnes of cargo handled.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT), India's largest container port located in Mumbai, recorded highest ever handling of 4.50 million TEUs during 2016-17. JNPT's net surplus crossed Rs 1300 crores, which a huge improvement over Rs 1091 crores in 2015-16. The profits made by Kandla Port also soared to Rs 651 crores, registering a 54.4% increase.
According to the Shipping Ministry, iron-ore traffic boasted an impressive growth rate of 163.67% while other miscellaneous shipments grew by 18.53%
In the tourism sector, 158 Cruise vessels anchored at 5 Major Ports during 2016-17, showing a 23% increase from the previous financial year.
Indian ports have also raised a significant amount of overseas funding this year, starting with a $400 million loan taken by JNPT. A $100 million foreign currency denominated loan is in the process of being finalised by Kamarajar Port. These modes of financing are to develop port infrastructure at low-interest rates.
The cumulative capacity of major ports during the year increased from 965.36 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) in 2015-16 to 1065 MTPA in 2016-17.
There has also been a positive shift in the total turnaround time, from 3.64 days last year to 3.44 days during this year.
The Centre's efforts in aligning major ports to international standards have made headway. Of the 116 initiatives identified to do so, 70 have been executed, with the rest to be implemented by 2019. Their implementation would fast track capacity building and productivity.
"The Major Port Authorities Bill has been introduced in the Lok Sabha in December 2016 to modernise the institutional structure of the ports to usher in professional governance in the ports," the annual performance report from Ministry of Shipping stated.