Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has circulated a draft of Indian Ports Bill 2020 for public consultation
Indian Ports Act, 1908: It is an act to consolidate the enactments relating to ports and port charges
Key provisions of the bill
- The proposed bill will repeal and replace the Indian Ports Act, 1908
- Attract investments: The bill seeks to inter alia, enable the structured growth and sustainable development of ports to attract investments in the Port sector for optimum utilisation of the Indian Coastline by effective administration and management of ports.
- Conservation of ports: Bill will provide measures to facilitate conservation of ports, taking into account the prevalent situation with respect to the high number of non-operational ports
- Regulatory Frameworks: It shall further ensure greater investment in the Indian maritime and ports sector through the creation of improved, comprehensive regulatory frameworks for the creation of new ports and management of existing ports.
- Create enabling environment: The Bill also seeks to, inter alia, create an enabling environment for the growth and sustained development of the ports sector in India through the following broad methods:
- Constitution of Maritime Port Regulatory Authority
- Formulation of the National Port policy and National Port plan in consultation with Coastal State Governments, State Maritime Boards and other stakeholders.
- Formulation of specialised Adjudicatory Tribunals namely Maritime Ports Tribunal and Maritime Ports Appellate Tribunal to curb any anti-competitive practises in the port sector and act as a speedy and affordable grievance redressal mechanism
- Opportunities for public and private investments: It seeks to provide increased opportunities for public and private investments in the Indian maritime and ports sector by way of removing barriers to entry, simplifying processes and establishment of agencies and bodies to plan and enable growth of the ports sector
- Self-reliant domestic investment climate: Enhancing “Ease of Doing Business’,it will provide greater impetus to a self-reliant domestic investment climate in the maritime sector, towards Atamanirbhar Bharat initiatives of the Government
- The up-to-date provisions of the proposed Bill would ensure safety, security, pollution control, performance standards and sustainability of Ports
- The Bill ensures that all up-to-date conventions /protocols to which India is a party, are also suitably incorporated.
- This will promote marine safety and security in the true sense.
- The Bill will fill up the gaps for achieving scientific development of Ports and Port Network.
- The Bill will bolster structured growth and sustained development of Ports and ensure achieving this objective on fast track basis.
- Consequently, it will result into revolutionary maritime reforms transmuting the Indian maritime set-up entirely in the times to come