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Shipping Ministry for private investment in port projects - 2012-03-12

The Union Shipping Ministry is encouraging the private sector to invest in the ports in accordance with the Maritime Agenda - 2020, according to the Union Minister for Shipping, Mr G.K. Vasan.He was speaking at a function here on Friday in the port indoor auditorium to distribute cheques to master list candidates who could not be provided employment in Visakhapatnam port. The master list is the list of candidates hailing from the families of deceased port employees who are entitled to get employment in the port. These candidates could not be provided jobs for the past 15 years, but a settlement had been reached with the port agreeing to provide them compensation in lieu of employment. Earlier, the Minister had performed the bhoomi puja for the construction of East Quay -1 berth in the inner harbour of Visakhapatnam port at a cost of Rs 323 crore for handling 6.41 million tonnes a year of steam coal. The project would be implemented by Adani Vizag Coal Termail Private Ltd, a special purpose vehicle of Mundra port and SEZ Ltd Consortium. Mr Vasan said that Rs 2.77 lakh crore would be required to achieve the projected port capacity of 3,230 mt by 2020, and of the amount Rs 2.34 lakh crore would be raised through the public-private partnership mode.

“To attract overseas investors, we are allowing 100 per cent foreign direct investment under the automatic route and 100 per cent IT exemption is offered for a decade. We are also finalising the costal shipping policy and setting up Major Ports Regulatory Authority,” he said. He said that the Visakhapatnam port had made remarkable progress to emerge as the second among major ports last year, handling 68.04 mt of cargo.

“The capacity of the port at present is 65 million tonnes and 70 million tonnes will be added by 2019-20. To achieve the target, the port has taken up several projects at a cost of Rs 13,900 crore, of which Rs 7,100 crore will be garnered through the PPP mode,” he added. Ms D. Purandeswari, Union Minister of State for HRD and the member of the Lok Sabha from Visakhapatnam, thanked Mr Vasan for solving the long-pending problem of master list candidates. She added that the Visakhapatnam port should also address the pollution concerns. Mr Ajeya Kallam, Visakhapatnam Port Chairman, also spoke on the occasion. Mr Pradeep K. Sinha, Union Shipping Secretary, also participated in the meeting.