In News: Major Port Authorities Bill 2020 was introduced in the Loksabha to provide for regulation, operation and planning of Major Ports in India and to vest the administration, control and management of such ports upon the Boards of Major Port Authorities and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The salient features of the Major Port Authorities Bill 2020 are as under: –
- The Bill is more compact in comparison to the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 as the number of sections has been reduced to 76 from 134 by eliminating overlapping and obsolete Sections.
- The new Bill has proposed a simplified composition of the Board of Port Authority which will comprise of 11 to 13 Members from the present 17 to 19 Members representing various interests.
- A compact Board with professional independent Members will strengthen decision making and strategic planning.
- Provision has been made for inclusion of representatives of State Government in which the Major Port is situated, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Defence and Customs, Department of Revenue as Members in the Board apart from a Government Nominee Member and a Member representing the employees of the Major Port Authority.
- The role of Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) has been redefined.
- The Port Authority has now been given powers to fix tariff which will act as a reference tariff for purposes of bidding for PPP projects.
- PPP operators will be free to fix tariff based on market conditions. The Board of Port Authority has been delegated the power to fix the scale of rates for other port services and assets including land.
- An Adjudicatory Board has been proposed to be created to carry out the residual function .
- The Boards of Port Authority have been delegated full powers to enter into contracts, planning and development, fixing of tariff except in national interest, security and emergency arising out of inaction and default.
- The Board of each Major Port shall be entitled to create specific master plan in respect of any development or infrastructure established or proposed to be established within the port limits and the land appurtenant thereto and such master plan shall be independent of any local or State Government regulations of any authority whatsoever.
- Provisions of CSR & development of infrastructure by the Port Authority have been introduced.
- Provision has been made for safeguarding the pay & allowances and service conditions including pensionary benefits of the employees of major ports and Tariff of Major Ports.
Major Ports in India:
- India has 12 major ports — Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia).