POLICY WATCH : MAJOR PORTS AUTHORITY BILL, 2020
• Major ports authority bill 2020 approved by union cabinet has which will be
introduced in the ongoing session of parliament. It seeks to provide greater
autonomy and flexibility to Major ports. The bill will repeal the major Port trust act,
1963. The bill was first tabled in parliament in 2016, but members then sought view
from the parliamentary standing committee before enactment.
• India has 12 Major ports. The total coastal cargo traffic handled by Indian ports in
2018-19 was 262.5 6 million tonnes which was 12.68% more than the coastal cargo
traffic of 233.02 million tonnes in fiscal year 2017-18.
• the most important aspect of this bill is that it aims to provide more functional
autonomy and operational independence to the ports authority’s. the port operate
in a very cooperative environment.
• Structure of the board of the port-in the present board strength is about 17 to 19
and it is represented by various interest groups.
• there is a provision to have for independent members and with their expertise will
help in governance of the ports.
• In addition to these for independent members there are two representatives from
labour union, representatives of ministry of defence, railways government nominee
and the chairman of the port.
• In this bill there is a deregulation of Major ports. The tariff that is being charged by
the public private partnership projects, the operators there will be free to fix tariff
as per market conditions.
• Now ports will have freedom to enter in contracts in earlier regime they have to
take permission from the government officials.
• For day-to-day operations which need to be approved by the government, the
power to make regulation is not completely under port authorities. The government
will be making rules.
• These are some points that distinguishes it from the Major ports act 1963.
• This act also seeks to established at adjudicatory board which was earlier not
present. This board will take over the residual functions of tariff authority of Major
ports and it will also be looking into disputes that might arise between the port
authority is and public private partnership operators.
• the adjudicatory board is also entrusted with the task of review of stressed project
of the PPP projects.
• The minor ports developed at the rate of 16% will the Major ports developed at the
rate of 3%. This bill which was supposed to come up in 2016 fortunately it was one
of the biggest infrastructure initiative taken by government to change the entire
landscape of maritime commerce.
• Earlier before this bill the landlord model was followed in which the port would not
only on all the assets but also look into the services being provided, this will provide
the legal framework for the ships towards landlord model of Port development. The
service model of Port on the assets and to have the operations.
• In major Port trust act 1963 there were 36 occasions on which the Port trust have to
take government approval now it has been brought down 8 occasions.
• There are provisions which will facilitate the ports to operate in a much competitive
environment, the ports are mentioned in the union list and the non Major ports are
in concurrent list.
• The ports under the administrative control of Government of India are called Major
ports just because they are governed under Port trust act for stop all other ports in
the state sector are non major ports.
• This bill provides a framework where in the Port trust will undertake their journey
from server sports to the land for development model which is much more