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i-maritime news letter

Common land utilisation rules for ports soon - 2012-01-23

Ports under the Central Government may soon get clarity with regards to land usage. “A revision of the land policy is underway to bring in transparency. We will try to finalise it soon,” Mr G.K. Vasan, Minister of Shipping said here at the inauguration of the India Maritime Week here today.

Different ports follow different rules for land usage and the Ministry has been attempting to bring them under a standard use format. The Ministry had issued in 2010 a comprehensive Land Policy to be followed by all the major ports for putting land at their disposal to optimal use, whether for port's own use or for earning revenue by leasing out unutilised land.

 “In the last two years, 22 (port development) projects worth Rs. 6,170 crore had been awarded. The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust is about to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a private sector consortium for development of Phase I of the Fourth Container Terminal at a cost of Rs. 4,100 crore,” he added. Upon completion, the terminal is expected to handle 2.4 million 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) containers.

“The Ministry of Shipping has taken up with the Ministry of Finance the need for exemption of minimum alternate tax (MAT) on the book profit on sale of qualifying ships and its inclusion within tonnage tax regime. The inclusion of interest income on funds deployed out of tonnage tax reserve within tonnage tax regime has also been taken up,” Mr Vasan said.

He added that very soon, the Ministry would be seeking the approval of the Cabinet for the bunker convention which would go a long way in addressing issues of pollution arising out of marine accidents.

The Indian tonnage as part of global shipping stood at 10 million gross tonnage about a year ago. The Indian tonnage has recently crossed the 11 million GT mark.

Source: Hindu Business Line