In order to form a national grid connecting all ports, the government has decided to form a committee that will assess the development potential of around 150 non-major ports in the country and will subsequently link them with major ports. This interlinking will aid India’s growth in terms of its export- import (EXIM) cargo.
The Union Cabinet has approved certain amendments to the existing Model Concession Agreement (MCA) for PPP projects at the Major Ports, which will address some of the thorny issues faced by the existing PPP port projects and attract more private investments to achieve capacity targets set under the Sagarmala programme.
East-based non-major ports have emerged as a better choice for sustainable growth compared to major ports on account of strategic location, modernisation, efficiency, cost-effectiveness and better infrastructure through optimisation of network and logistics.
In another big-ticket reform initiative, the Union cabinet has approved a bill that would give more autonomy and flexibility to major ports in the country. The Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016, will replace the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963.
The monthly cargo traffic at major ports has risen steadily from a low of 46.85 mn tonne in September 2015 to 52.22 mn tonne in January 2016, nudging up to the record 53.72 mn tonne moved in March 2015.
India´s port infrastructure - a critical resource for the country´s prosperity - has so far failed to reach its potential. Will the new government´s policies bring a turnaround? RAMESH K VAIDYANATHAN and ARVIND RAVINDRANATH take a closer look.
Exports of cars from Indian major ports and particularly from Chennai and Kamarajar ports in Tamil Nadu declined during the April-September period, mirroring the negative growth reported by the manufacturing sector in the first six months of the financial year.