Private stakeholders should have liberty to identify new ports for development, says parliamentary panel


Private stakeholders of the shipping industry should have the liberty to identify new ports in the country, said a Parliamentary panel. The panel also recommended that private stakeholders approach the central government with the proposal for their development.

The report of the department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture on ”Promotion of Infrastructure in India”s Maritime Sector” also suggested that a common rail yard should be developed at JNPT for faster evacuation of containers.

“The committee also recommends that private stakeholders of the shipping industry should have the liberty to identify the new Ports in the country and approach the Government of India with the proposal for their development,” the report said.

The committee added that it would also like to recommend to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways that a dedicated mechanism should be put in place for effective coordination and monitoring of PPP projects undertaken for the development of private ports in the country.

“Further, ways should be chalked out to link private ports with the major and minor ports of the country in order to cater to the growing requirement for import/ export of manufactured goods/raw materials, immediately after the phase of COVID-19 pandemic is over,” according to the report.

The committee noted that the shipping industry in India is subjected to multiple taxes as compared to leading maritime nations due to which shipping companies are not attracted to invest in India. “The committee, accordingly, recommends that the ministry should take effective steps to modify relevant policies with a view to formulate a new tax regime in line with other tax regimes of leading maritime nations,” it suggested.

The committee pointed out that despite the Sagarmala Programme being launched way back in the year 2015, only 172 projects out of the 802 sanctioned projects under it have been completed and the remaining 632 projects are under the implementation stage, which is far from being satisfactory.

The ministry of ports, shipping and waterways in coordination with the ministry of renewable energy should take efforts towards the establishment of solar power plants and wind power generation units on the unutilised land rather than on sea, highlighted the committee.

According to the committee, the promotion of huge facilities capable of handling bigger ships is necessary at present, and it recommends that investments may be made in capital dredging in the form of Government Budgetary Support, equity participation and debt financing to ports.

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