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2017 was a year of consolidation, says Ministry of Shipping

For the Ministry of Shipping, 2017 has been a year of consolidation, a year of building up on the good work of the past few years, and strengthening the ground for further ongoing development. It highlighted some of the salient features in a release. 

The release gives briefly significant facts under two headings: Ports and Shipping. Let us begin with Ports.

 

PORTS

 Overall, the ports in India handled 90 per cent by volume and 70 per cent by value of India’s external trade.

Capacity and traffic

 In order to meet the ever increasing trade requirements of the country, the focus has been on the infrastructure development and capacity enhancement of the ports. Over the years, the cargo handling capacity of the Major Ports has been growing steadily as under:

 Award of projects and investment

 During 2016-17, 57 projects were awarded, involving an investment of Rs 9,490.51 crore and additional capacity of 103.52 MTPA was created. In 2017-18, 59 projects were targeted for award, of which 12 have already been awarded. With a view to promote port-led development, the Sagarmala programme was approved by the Cabinet on 25-03-2015. This is a flagship initiative of the government of India. Under this programme, 142 port projects, involving an investment of around Rs 91,434 crore for capacity enhancement, have been identified for implementation during the next 10-15 years.

 Improvement in efficiency parameters

 While increasing the capacity of Major Ports, the Ministry of Shipping has been striving to improve their operational efficiencies through policy and procedural changes and mechanisation. As a result, key efficiency parameters have improved considerably. The Average Turnaround Time has improved from 87.36 hours in 2015-16 to 82.56 hours in 2016-17 and significant improvement to 63.33 hours during 2017-18 (as on 31.10.2017). The Average Output Per Ship Berthday increased from 13,156 tonnes in 2015-16 to 14,583 tonnes in 2016-17 and to 14,912 tonnes in 2017-18 (as on 31.10.2017). A study to benchmark the performance of Major Ports to comparable international ports was taken up with a view to improve operational efficiency and profitability. Of the 116 initiatives recommended by the consultants, 86 have already been implemented and the remaining will be implemented by 2019. The implementation of these recommendations is expected to lead to further improvement in the operational efficiency and productivity of the Major Ports in the coming years.

 Policy initiatives to improve efficiency

The achievements of the Major Ports in terms of capacity augmentation, improved operational efficiency and higher operating surplus were made possible due to certain proactive policy initiatives taken by the Ministry of Shipping. A new Berthing Policy and Stevedoring Policy have been implemented. The tariff guidelines were revised to provide flexibility to port operators to align the tariff closer to market tariff subject to achievement of certain performance standards. 100 per cent FDI is being allowed in PPP projects in the port sector. The Model Concession Agreement is being amended with a view to obviate the problems being faced in execution of PPP projects on account of certain provisions of the present MCA, in order to make the investments in the port sector more attractive. A new Major Ports Authorities Bill, 2016 to replace the existing Major Port Trusts Act, 1963, with a view to provide greater autonomy and modernisation of the institutional structure, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 16.12.2016. The Bill has been examined by the Parliamentary Standing Committee and, based on the recommendations made in the Committee’s report, necessary official amendments in the proposed Bill have been formulated. Inter-ministerial consultations are being held before seeking approval of the Union Cabinet for introduction of the official amendments in the proposed Bill.

 Deendayal Port (Kandla port)

 In recognition of the invaluable contribution and sacrifices made by Pandit Deendayal Upadhaya towards serving the nation and upliftment of the poor and downtrodden, the name of Kandla Port has been changed to Deendayal Port. The Notification in this regard was issued on 24/09/2017.

 Ease of Doing Business

As part of Ease of Doing Business to promote and facilitate business at ports, a number of activities, which include elimination of manual forms, direct port delivery, installation of container scanners at ports, RFID-based automation system, etc., have been undertaken. RFID system has already been put in place in 9 Major Ports and is expected to be in place in the remaining ports by March 2018. Direct Port Delivery (DPD) volume is steadily growing. Further, as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, green agenda, new schemes have been formulated for providing financial assistance to Major Ports for green initiatives and also for building capacity to combat oil pollution. The ports are being rated on cleanliness. Major Ports are taking up renewable energy projects to generate more than 150 MW (solar and wind energy) in the next five years. 15 MW solar and 6 MW wind power has already been commissioned in the Major Ports during 2016-17 and, by the end of 2018, 91.5 MW solar and 45 MW wind power is expected to be achieved. Focus is being given on setting up Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Coastal Economic Zones around Major Ports. An SEZ at JNPT and Smart Industrial Port Cities at Kandla and Paradip are under implementation.

 100 per cent cashless transaction has been achieved at all Major Ports, land records have been digitised, all ports pensioners linked with Aadhaar biometric system, etc.

 Chabahar Port in Iran

 India is also engaged in the development of Chabahar Port in Iran. A MoU was signed between the two countries in this regard. Inauguration of Phase-I of Shahid Beheshti Port at Chabahar took place on December 3, 2017 in the presence of Mr Pon. Radhakrishnan, Minister of State for Finance and Shipping.

 

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