Shipping Ministry plans to bring new law to govern port

The government is planning to bring a new law to govern ports, which also including empowering the Union Ministry of Shipping to fix the minimum distance between two ports or to alter the limits of any ports in the country.

The Shipping Ministry is planning to introduce the New Indian Ports Bill in the coming budget session.

The fixing minimum distance will help to fair competition among different ports whether the government or private, said an official in the Shipping Ministry.

The bill will also simplify the regulatory and administrative mechanism of the ports, fixing of port charges or tariffs, the benchmark of minimum quality standards and facilities in every new port, said the official.

The proposed legislation will apply to all the 13 major ports owned by the central government and other non-major ports whether private or state government-owned.

To improve the operational efficiency of ports the government is working on a plan to complete overhaul of the existing 12 and 200 non-major ports in the country. Besides, the government is also planning to build six new ports under the National Perspective Plan for Sagarmala, said the official.

With India aiming to increase the ship recycling’s contribution to the GDP to $ 2.2 billion from present $ 1.3 billion, the Shipping Ministry is working on to garner at least 60 % of global ship recycling business in next two to three years.

At present India is recycling around 300 ships of the total 1,000 ships, which are junked in a year globally. But some of the countries like Japan, Europe and the US were not sending their ships for recycling to India in the absence of ratification of a global convention. That scenario is set to change with the Recycling of Ships Act, 2019, said the official.

The Act ratifies the Hong Kong convention and facilitating environment-friendly recycling process of ships and adequate safety of the yard workers.

The Act is expected to raise the brand value of ship recycling yards located at Alang in Gujarat, Mumbai Port, Kolkata Port and Azhikkal in Kerela and will also enhance the availability of steel said the official.