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On the eve of Assembly elections Maharashtra govt offers sops to private port operators

The Maharashtra government is all set to provide wide ranging sops to Private Port Operators months before the Assembly elections.

Major concessions in Maharashtra Port Policy

The state Cabinet which met on July ninth cleared changes to the Maharashtra Port Policy -- 2016, allowing major concessions in wharfage charges (reducing them to half from three times), extending benefits to ‘green field’ ports and multimodal jetties up to 50 years from 35 years, and extending the period of concessions for shipyards to 30 years from 10 years. There are nearly five hundred minor ports that are under the jurisdiction of the Maharashtra government.

The changes were made based on the representation made by the Indian National Ship Owners Association, Association of Multimodal Transport Operators of India (AMTOI) and other stakeholders last month, officials said.

State to recommend to GST Council 5% cut in levy

The state government has assured the Industry that it would recommend to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council a cut in levy to 5 per cent from the existing 12 per cent for “multimodal” transport operators in Maharashtra. The Cabinet also cleared the use of the jetties of the Maharashtra Maritime Board for a proposed Ro-Ro service, tourism and other training purposes.

The Cabinet approved new measurement rates for the foreshore land -- a land string that margins a water body -- for which development charges have to be paid upfront as per the ready reckoner rates.

The 5 per cent GST levy on road transport operators is far less than that imposed on multimodal operators, who have to pay 12 per cent. AMTOI had requested the government to ensure a reduction in this duty. The government has promised to take up the issue with the Centre once AMTOI provides the relevant data to back its claims. The other proposals cleared by the state cabinet include reduction of the current rebate given on inter- and intra-State movement in ports and jetties.

The amendments will also address concerns around the security of the State’s ports. Recently, Chief Minister Devendra  Fadnavis had, along with the Indian Navy, declared 20 ports in Raigad alone -- of the 591 ports in Maharashtra -- as “sensitive”, and made the information public in the Legislative Assembly.


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