Multi-purpose berths at six major ports to boost international trade
In an effort to boost international trade, the government has decided to develop multi-purpose berths at six major ports with an investment of more than Rs 1,600 crore in the next three years. The move is aimed at increasing the ports cargo handling capacity and reducing the turn-around time for commercial vessels at Indian coasts. “These projects will enhance the capacity of respective ports to handle a variety of cargoes and meet the requirement of the trade,” said Pon Radhakrishnan, Minister of State for Shipping. The project will cover Odisha’s Paradip Port in eastern coast and Goa’s Mormugao Port in western coast. In southern costs, Karnataka’s New Mangalore Port, Tamil Nadu’s Kamrajar Port and Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam Port have also been included in the project. The multi-purpose berths will also help reducing the pre-berthing detention time and turn-around time of vessels at these ports, the minister told Lok Sabha. Of the total investment of Rs 1,622.75 crore, the government has estimated Rs 430.78 crore and 525 crore to be spent on Paradip Port and Mormugao Port respectively. Two cargo berths at Kandla Port will be made multi-purpose with an investment of Rs 200 crore each. The work at Vishakhatpatnam Port has already been completed, while the project at Karnataka port is expected to be completed by March next year. The stipulated time period for completion of project at Kamrajar Port and Paradip Port is May, 2017 and March 2018 respectively. The deadline for Gujarat’s Kandla Port is July 2018 and for Goa’s port is January 2019. In view of increasing automobile imports in India, the government has decided to use two additional ports for importing vehicles. The use of two non-major ports— Kattupalli Port and APM Terminals, Pipavav Port— is expected to reduce pressure and transaction costs of automobile manufacturers. Among major ports, imports of vehicles are allowed at Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Mumbai Port, Kolkata Port, Chennai Port, Kamarajar Port and Cochin Port by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Besides, the government also provides financial assistance for development of cruise tourism related infrastructure to port authorities. Cruise terminals are developed in Cochin, Chennai and Marmugao ports. To encourage investments in the port sector, the government has taken slew of measures such as allowing 100% FDI under the automatic route for Port development projects, giving infrastructure status to the sector and easing norms for the development of ports through public-private partnership (PPP) model. The government has also revised tariff guidelines for major ports, giving more flexibility to the PPP operators to respond to market conditions. The Centre has recently held discussions with all coastline states on ‘The Maritime Agenda 2010-2020’ to plant development and modernisation of ports. “Further, discussions have also been held with the coastline states while formulating the Sagarmala project which is aimed at a comprehensive development of ports, port-led development of the hinterland and efficient connectivity,” the minister said.
May 8, 2015 | 4:23 pm IST.