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i-maritime news letter

Panel to decide Indian Ports Global's fate - 2012-01-23


The fate of Indian Ports Global now rests in the hands of a committee headed by Secretary (Expenditure) in the Ministry of Finance. The Shipping Ministry has proposed that it will set up an agency on a 50:50 joint venture basis between ports administered by the Union Government and financial institutions. It involves funding from the Government.

The decision will include details including the level of equity investments, which ports to put the funds. India should float a special purpose vehicle.

“Indian Ports Global has now been renamed Indian Ports Ltd (IPL)… The decision on this will be taken by an Expenditure Finance Committee,” Mr Rakesh Srivastava, Joint Secretary (Ports), said on the sidelines of the ongoing Indian Maritime Week.

Earlier, there were suggestions from within the Ministry that users such as Coal India should be brought on board to identify ports where there is investment potential. Major ports together have funds of about Rs 7,500 crore.

Pitching for a larger role for Indian ports in the global market, Capt. P.V.K. Mohan, Chairman, National Shipping Board, said there is a need for India to invest in ports in Africa and Indonesia, from where India is likely to source coal. “We must own assets overseas,” he said.

By the end of 12th Plan in 2017, the non-major ports are projected to have more capacity than the major ports, Mr Srivastava said.

By 2017, major ports are likely to have 1229.21 million tonne (mt) a year capacity, while non-major ports will have 1457.42 mt a year capacity.

On capacity augmentation, two companies that have investments in ports called for higher capacity creation through mechanisation and faster rail evacuation facility.

Mr Rajiv Aggarwal, Managing Director, Essar Ports, said there is a need to focus on increasing capacity augmentation by higher mechanisation at existing ports.

Mr Anil Yendluri, CEO, Krishnapatman Port, stressed on the need to have focus on faster rail evacuation to improve port processing capacity.

In a related move, the Andhra Pradesh Government stated that it will soon form a Maritime Board to look at the development of ports under the State Government.

Mr S. Bhattacharya, Principal Secretary, Andhra Pradesh, invited investments to Andhra Pradesh pointing out that the State has many coastal-based industries that require port capacity.

Source: Hindu Business Line