Dept of ports bracing for ‘significant revenue drop’

      03/07/2018

The Captain of Ports department (CoP) expects a significant drop in its revenue collection after mining activities come to a halt from mid-March.

CoP’s revenue receipts first took a hit in 2012 when mining activities first came to a halt in the state. In 2012, CoP’s total annual revenue collection stood at Rs 40 crore.

However, it could not touch the Rs 40 crore mark even after mining resumed in 2016. A senior CoP official said, “Revenue receipts were the highest in 2012.”

After the 2012 setback, however, CoP’s earnings dropped considerably and for the last two financial years, it stood between Rs 9 crore to Rs 9.5 crore. Till February, CoP had collected Rs 8.5 crore.

“A major component of our revenue came from mining. It will drop further after mining activities cease,” the officer said.

The CoP will have to mop up funds from other sources, but it can’t match what the department earned from allowing its jetties to be used for mining-related activities.

A significant portion of the department’s revenue also comes from allowing berthing and mooring facilities for offshore casino vessels. “If at all casinos vessels are shifted out of CoP’s jurisdiction, the department will lose another source of income,” another officer said. Some of the department’s other means of revenue include water sports operations, berthing and mooring of vessels, cruise vessels, shipyards and dry docks and to an extent, coal handling.

The CoP could see a rise in its earnings once the department’s proposed building on the prime location, on the banks of River Mandovi, is commissioned.

A senior government official said Panaji being a small port, it has limited scope for expansion. “Despite this, the government could help CoP increase its revenue through long-term planning and by using some innovative methods,” he said.

Considering the constant opposition to any government-linked projects, the government will have to tread carefully, the official said.