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Ports to witness 5.4% growth this fiscal: CMIE - 2012-06-04

Ports will witness a 5.4 per cent growth in traffic this fiscal, led by an increase at the privately-owned minor terminals, a report by an economic think-tank has said. “The cargo traffic at all ports in the country (major and minor) is expected to grow by 5.4 per cent. The growth is likely to be supported by healthy growth of cargo at minor ports,” the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has said in a report.

The major contributing factors for the jump will be a 6-8 per cent rise in crude imports and 12-15 per cent rise in coal traffic, which will go up on the back of demand from steel and power sectors, and higher container volumes, it said. Even though it is yet to compile the numbers for the entire fiscal, the agency said there was a fall of 6.2 per cent in traffic at the 13 major ports in February because of the drop in iron ore exports due to the Supreme Court order and lower container volumes. According to experts, the newly built private port operators like Adanis-promoted Mundra and Pipavav, all classified as minor ports, are eating into the market dominated by state-owned major ports, due to a host of issues including the role played by the industry’s price regulator.

The agency expects GDP growth, which grew by the slowest ever in nine years at 5.3 per cent in the quarter ending March, to recover at 7.6 per cent this fiscal. On the railways front, CMIE expects freight traffic to grow by 4.6 per cent to breach the 1-billion tonne mark this fiscal on healthy demand from coal, cement and iron ore segments. The up to 15 per cent hike in freight announced in the rail budget is unlikely to dent the cargo growth for railways, it said.

Source : Hindu Business Line